(NEXSTAR) – On Wednesday, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said 88 cruise ships were under investigation or observation due to COVID-19. Four other vessels were also monitored by the CDC.
Concerns about COVID-19 outbreaks on these ships have recently increased, just six months after cruise lines were given the green light to resume sailing. None of the ships so far appear to have so many cases that they would overwhelm the medical resources on board and require a return to port. However, some have been refused entry into foreign ports.
Ashley Peterson, a Carnival cruise line, made an appearance on “Morning in americaTo talk about his experience aboard a ship in the throes of an epidemic. The Asheville, NC resident’s Christmas cruise departed from a port in Miami for an eight-day trip to the Caribbean.
Shortly after departure, the ship was refused entry to some ports due to passengers testing positive for COVID-19.
“I heard about the outbreak before they announced it,” Peterson said. “When I asked, they did not confirm there was COVID on the ship. And they told us the next day that we had been refused entry.
Peterson said the conditions on the ship were a virtual petri dish with little to no COVID precautions.
In a statement, Carnival Cruise Line said, “Carnival Freedom has followed all protocols. After a small number on board were isolated due to a positive COVID test. Our protocols anticipate this possibility and we implement and adapt them as necessary to protect the health and safety of our guests and crew. “
According to the CDC’s ship tracker, the Cruise ship color statusCarnival Freedom is one of dozens of ships marked with a yellow status, which means COVID cases reported on the ship have reached the threshold of CDC investigation.
The color coding system, posted using a chart updated several times a week on the CDC website, is broken down into five classifications: green, orange, yellow, red and gray. To determine the condition of a vessel, the CDC relies on monitoring data from the previous seven days and the findings of CDC investigations.
Here is the meaning of each color:
As of Wednesday evening, there were 19 ships in the green category, four in orange and 88 in yellow. There were no ships in red or gray status.
the CDC said cruise ships “will always present a risk of transmission of COVID-19” and recommends that all travelers, whether passengers or crew, get a full vaccine against the virus. Those who are not fully vaccinated are encouraged to avoid travel on cruise ships, either nationally or internationally.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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