Coronavirus: 44 people test positive for COVID-19 aboard Royal Caribbean cruise ship

MIAMI — Nearly four dozen people aboard Royal Caribbean’s Symphony of the Seas cruise ship tested positive for COVID-19 before the vessel docked in Miami on Saturday evening.

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“Everyone who tested positive was asymptomatic, and we conscientiously monitored their health,” Royal Caribbean spokeswoman Lyan Sierra-Caro told the Sun Sentinel, adding, “Future itineraries are not impacted.”

It was not immediately clear if the omicron variant of the coronavirus has been detected among the 44 new infections. The cruise line did inform passengers on the weeklong Caribbean sailing, however, as well as two others, that a passenger who sailed on the ship during an earlier itinerary tested positive for the omicron variant, USA Today reported.

“This guest did not report symptoms to our onboard medical teams as outlined in our health protocols,” the cruise line stated in a copy of the email obtained by the newspaper. “Their post cruise test results were subsequently confirmed as the omicron variant.”

According to the USA Today, all passengers aged 12 and older were required to be fully vaccinated and to test negative to board the Symphony of the Seas, which departed from Miami on Dec. 11. Children ineligible for the vaccine were also required to test negative for the virus before boarding.

The 44 COVID-19 cases represent 0.72% of the ship’s 6,074 passengers and crew, categorizing Symphony of the Seas among 32 cruise ships listed as “yellow status” by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The designation means at least one-tenth of 1% of passengers tested positive, the Sun Sentinel reported.

Meanwhile, Royal Caribbean advised passengers to visit a certified testing center within three days of disembarkation from the ship, per CDC guidance, USA Today reported.

The ship departed from the Port of Miami early Sunday morning en route to Cozumel.

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