Several unfortunately timed cruise ships from around the world are currently out stuck at sea due to a surge in the newest COVID-19 variant, having the highest transmissibility of all mutations of the coronavirus so far. Currently, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is administering and investigating ships with COVID-19 cases before they might be allowed to dock and the passengers allowed to come offshore.
According to the CDC, currently, more than 88 vessels or cruise ships are under investigation and/or observation involving infectious disease. There has been, however, no confirmation regarding the number of COVID-19 cases reported on board.
Florida hit 46,900 new cases of COVID-19 on Tuesday, a record high for the state within one day. Ever since the Holiday season started, there have been more cases reported than there were in last summer, at the height of the pandemic, in not just Florida but around the country.
Many of the previous pandemic restrictions that were pulled off only recently after vaccine and booster shot circulation were started, have been resumed once again, including mask mandates, booster mandates for healthcare workers, travel bans as well as social distancing. Amidst all this, the concern of cruise ships full of people who are more or less concentrated together in a space, with lesser room to isolate or maintain distance, the risk of infection is even higher.
CDC spokesperson Jasmine Reed in a statement over the matter said, “CDC acknowledges that it is not possible for cruising to be a zero-risk activity,” without mentioning anything about halting cruises, at least while the surge is as such. Rather they announced to even let some rules and regulations mandatory to follow whilst on the cruise expire for cruises.
Democratic Sen. Richard Blumenthal called for a halt on cruise ships saying, “Our warnings have proved sadly prescient and continuously compelling. Time for CDC and cruise lines to protect consumers, again pause — docking their ships.”
Recently Mexico has announced it will dock ships even those that have COVID-19 cases with a necessary screening process that allows those with positive tests to quarantine and get treated while those with clearance can come offshore.