More cruise ships under CDC investigation due to COVID cases

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MIAMI – The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is investigating more cruise ships because of new cases of COVID-19 as the Omicron variant drives extremely high infection levels In the Industry Center of Florida.

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The CDC said 88 ships are now either under investigation or surveillance, but did not specify how many COVID-19 cases have been reported. Four other ships are also being monitored by the CDC.

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Florida on Tuesday set a new record for daily cases with 46,900 new cases in a single day. Since Christmas, the state’s 7-day average of daily cases has surpassed the previous record set during last summer’s surge, rising to 29,400 infections.

Coronavirus hospitalizations in the state have also increased from around 1,200 patients two weeks ago to nearly 3,400 on Wednesday. But it is still less than a fifth of the number of hospitalizations at the end of August due to the delta wave.

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Democrat Sen. Richard Blumenthal is calling on the CDC and cruise lines to halt cruise travel again after six months of the industry started his comeback campaign,

“Our warnings have proven to be sadly prescient and consistently compelling. Time for CDC and cruise lines to protect consumers, stop again – docking their ships,” the Connecticut senator posted on Twitter.

The cruise lines have not announced any plans to stop the cruises. And while the CDC hasn’t said it will adopt any changes, it still has plans to allow the end of a set of rules that cruises must follow to sail during the pandemic. The regulation, called a conditional sailing order, is due to expire on January 15 to become a voluntary programme.

“CDC acknowledges that it is not possible to have zero-risk activity,” CDC spokeswoman Jasmine Reid said in an emailed statement.

Most lines require adult passengers to show proof of vaccination against COVID-19. Cruise ships are allowed to relax measures such as the use of masks if at least 95% of passengers and 95% of crew are fully vaccinated.

The federal agency recommends that people avoid cruise travel when they are at risk of serious illness, regardless of vaccination status.

No ship has so far had cases so far that they exhaust the medical resources on board and require return to port. But some have been denied entry at some foreign ports.

Several Florida-based ships have reported outbreaks. Carnival CCL,
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Freedom was denied entry to Aruba and Bonaire after an unknown number of passengers and crew caught the virus.

Reported cases have prevented some cruise ships from disembarking in Mexican ports, recalling the early days of the pandemic when cruise lines negotiated docking plans as ships were turned away by officials concerned over the spread of the virus. was going.

Mexican government said On Tuesday it will allow cruise ships with reported coronavirus cases to dock. The country’s health department said passengers or crew with no symptoms would be allowed to coast as normal, while those with symptoms or those with a positive virus test would be quarantined or given medical care.

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