CDC investigating outbreak of Covid-19 aboard Carnival cruise ship – Boston News, Weather, Sports

(CNN) — The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is investigating a recent Covid-19 outbreak on a Carnival cruise ship that docked in Seattle after a two-week voyage.

The Carnival Spirit, which sailed through the Panama Canal, left Miami on April 17 and arrived in Seattle on May 3, the cruise line said in a statement. The ship accommodates 2,124 guests and 930 crew members, Carnival said.

The CDC says it is not permitted to publicly share the number of passengers and crew who have been quarantined or tested positive. However, the ship is flagged as orange status under the agency’s Covid-19 threshold, indicating that 0.3% or more of all passengers and/or crew have tested positive, per CDC guidelines.

The ship’s color status helps the CDC determine the scope of the investigation, the agency said.

The Carnival Spirit is one of 62 cruise ships currently sailing with orange status, the CDC said in a statement to CNN.

Both the cruise line and the CDC said there were no serious outcomes or serious health issues among those who tested positive, and Carnival said most guests were asymptomatic.

“Our health and safety protocols exceed CDC guidelines and have been followed closely, including immunization requirements and pre-cruise testing of all guests. Our crew is also vaccinated and wearing masks,” Carnival said in a statement to CNN.

“Our protocols are designed to adjust as needed and additional measures have been implemented during the trip,” the statement added. “In addition, all guests scheduled to continue the ship’s next cruise to Alaska have been tested, and all guests and their travel companions who have tested positive have been disembarked.”

The ship left Seattle for Alaska later on May 3, according to Carnival.

The CDC is working with the cruise line and state and local health officials to “enact existing Covid-19 agreements and protocols,” the statement added.

Passengers say cruise ship is ‘overwhelmed’

Some passengers aboard the Carnival Spirit claimed that crew members mismanaged the ship’s Covid-19 outbreak.

Darren Siefertson, of Las Vegas, Nevada, told CNN he boarded the ship from Miami on April 17 and was informed on April 26 that there had been a Covid-19 outbreak on the ship.

After testing positive, Siefertson said he was promised to be moved to an isolation cubicle but ended up being forced to stay in the same room as his roommate.

Siefertson said when he called the medical center for an update, the center had already closed before its scheduled closing time, and no one answered the phone.

When Siefertson’s cabinmate went to guest services to ask what they should do, he was told that isolation cabins were no longer available and he would have to stay in the same room as Siefertson.

Ship guests also complained that room service “was taking hours to get food to those who were in quarantine,” Siefertson said.

“Sometimes we’d order our food at 1 p.m. and it wouldn’t come until 7 p.m.,” Walter Babij, who was on the cruise with his wife, told CNN. Both Babij and his wife tested positive for Covid-19 on board the ship and were quarantined in an isolation cabin.

“It also happened that we did not receive our orders in full. We would have to call several times to track down our food. We were completely dependent on them,” Babij said.

Siefertson also complained that a few days after testing positive, his cabin and two other cabins near him began to stink of sewage.

“You couldn’t even call to ask someone to fix it because nobody answered the phone and we couldn’t leave our room so I had to stay in this room that smelled like a toilet. It was awful,” Siefertson said. “Carnival said they handled the situation, but that’s not true. They were so overwhelmed.”

Both Siefertson and Babij told CNN that they felt the cruise line was “overwhelmed.”

“I didn’t think they expected this level of cases and when it got to a certain level they didn’t know what to do. It was a perfect storm,” said Babij.

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