Cruise ship reports COVID-19 outbreak in San Francisco

Several vaccinated passengers aboard a cruise ship that returned to San Francisco on Sunday after a 15-day trip through the Panama Canal have tested positive for COVID-19.

Princess Cruises said in a statement that “during the cruise, we have identified positive cases of COVID-19 among our guests and crew members” on board the Ruby Princess ship, although all have been vaccinated.

“They were all asymptomatic or only mildly symptomatic and were isolated and quarantined while they were monitored and cared for by our onboard medical team,” the cruise line’s statement read.

The incident was reminiscent of the drama that surrounded the line’s Grand Princess ship when several passengers tested positive in March 2020, forcing thousands of passengers to quarantine in their cabins as the ship slowed off the coast. of San Francisco and the severity of the pandemic was starting to hit. United States

This incident captivated many people in the United States who were learning about the new virus for the first time and led federal health officials to temporarily suspend cruise travel. San Francisco cruise service resumed in October, and most cruise lines have since required passengers and crew to provide proof of COVID-19 vaccinations.

But that hasn’t stopped outbreaks aboard ships. On Jan. 7, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention began investigating an outbreak among a dozen passengers aboard a cruise ship that had docked in San Francisco after a 10-day cruise to Mexico. This outbreak was discovered following random testing of 25% of passengers. At the time, 22 cruises that had docked in San Francisco had reported passengers or crew positive for COVID-19.

Cruise ships are required to notify the CDC of suspected or confirmed positive cases on board, and any ship with 0.10% passenger cases meets the criteria for investigation.

Princess Cruises did not say how many of them tested positive. But the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website says there were enough cases to meet the threshold for a CDC investigation.

The cruise line said that in conjunction with the CDC and the San Francisco Department of Public Health, “guests who have tested positive and have not completed the isolation period will return home via private transportation or will be accommodated ashore in hotels coordinated in advance for isolation and quarantine.

The 951ft Ruby Princess was scheduled to depart Sunday afternoon for a 15-day cruise to Hawaii. The 19-deck ship with 1,542 guest cabins made its maiden cruise on November 8, 2008 after being christened by “The Bachelorette” stars Trista and Ryan Sutter, and was renovated in 2018. It can carry 3,080 guests and 1,200 crew members.