26 crew members and 1 passenger on Carnival ship from Galveston test positive for COVID

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Saturday, August 14, 2021
Here are Carnival's plans to keep cruise passengers safe
All aboard! People were ready to get back to cruising. ABC13's Nick Natario talked to passengers before they set sail on the Carnival Vista.

Twenty-seven people aboard a Carnival cruise tested positive for COVID-19 just before the ship made a stop in Belize City this week, according to the Belize Tourism Board.

The positive cases were among 26 crew members and one passenger on the Carnival Vista, which is carrying over 1,400 crew and nearly 3,000 passengers, the board said in a statement. The ship arrived Wednesday in Belize City.

All 27 were vaccinated, had mild or no symptoms, and were in isolation, according to the statement. The tourism board said 99.98% of the ship's crew was vaccinated, as well as 96.5% of its passengers.

The video above is from a July 5, 2021, report in Galveston.

The Washington Post reported Carnival said it announced last week that there were positive cases on board, but the cruise line did not not give specific numbers. The ship left from Galveston, Texas, according to the Post.

Carnival is requiring passengers to be vaccinated, though there are exceptions for children and people with medical issues. The cruise line said in a statement Aug. 4 that passengers must wear a mask in certain indoor areas, and provide a negative COVID test within three days of embarkment for cruises beginning Saturday.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said on its website that it had investigated the Carnival Vista and the ship remains under observation.

In a statement released on Saturday, the cruise line said that guests on board the July 31 and August 7 sailings were notified and kept updated.

Full statement from Carnival

Carnival is managing a small number of positive COVID cases on Carnival Vista sailing out of Galveston. This is despite all of our crew and almost all of our guests being vaccinated.

We have managed the situation utilizing stringent health protocols which included placing those who tested positive in isolation and close contacts in quarantine. Guests on board the July 31 and August 7 sailings were notified and kept updated, and the CDC and destination officials have been apprised.

Vista's August 14 departure will sail as planned.

Carnival also has a process in place to randomly test a large percentage of our crew on a rotating basis multiple days per week even though all are vaccinated. Since last Saturday, we've tested more than 900 crew members.

On Wednesday, Belize health officials randomly tested 68 Vista guests as they disembarked for the day, and all were negative. As of Saturday, a number of our crew that were either in isolation or identified as close contacts and put in quarantine have been cleared by our medical team to return to work.

The health, safety and well-being of our guests, crew and the destinations we visit is our priority. All activities on the ship are taking place and our guests have been terrific at adapting to our new protocols.

Carnival is in daily contact with the CDC about the status of all our ships. Our onboard protocols exceed the CDC guidelines.

The CDC's conditional sail order and our own protocols anticipate the potential for COVID on board, and our procedures are designed to manage and mitigate any situation.

Carnival ships ask all their guests to wear masks in certain indoor areas, and beginning Aug. 14, all vaccinated guests, in addition to unvaccinated guests, need to show proof of a negative COVID test prior to embarkation, as we flex our protocols to adapt to the changing public health situation.

SEE ALSO: As Carnival sails from Galveston, here are the plans to keep passengers safe