According to multiple reports, some passengers sailing aboard Carnival Vista from Galveston have tested positive for COVID-19.
News reports say that the passengers have been isolated, close contacts tested, and masking rules put in place for the remainder of the cruise. The remainder of the cruise is said to continue as planned. Vista ported in Cozumel today and will head back to Galveston starting tonight with a day at sea tomorrow.
“Our pre-established protocols of vaccinated guests and crew, testing, enhanced medical capabilities and contact tracing anticipated the potential for positive cases, and they are designed to adapt to various scenarios,” Carnival spokesman Vance Gulliksen said in a statement to the Galveston County Daily News.
There was no definitive number of positive tests given. One source said “a few” passengers, while another cited Carnival in saying a “small number” of cases. The cruise line reportedly would not say exactly how many passengers tested positive.
Notably, the CDC webpage that tracks the current status of ships sailing or planning to sail from the United States has Carnival Vista with a “yellow” status.
According to the CDC guidelines, this status is conferred when cases are reported in 0.10% or more of passengers during the past week, or one or more cases reported in crew members.
Carnival Vista carries approximately 4,000 passengers at double occupancy. That would mean at least four passenger cases to reach the 0.10% threshold. However, it is possibly sailing with fewer guests. For instance, we sailed on Carnival Vista last month and there were said to be between 2,500 and 3,000 passengers on the ship.
Like other cruise lines, Carnival continues to battle against COVID-19, especially the more transmissible Delta variant. CDC data shows all five of Carnival’s ships currently sailing with paid passengers have “yellow” status.
The cruise line recently implemented new rules across its fleet, including requiring facemasks in many indoor areas and requiring tests of all passengers prior to arriving at the pier, even the vaccinated.
The cruise line is sailing its ships under fully vaccinated cruise standards, meaning 95%+ of passengers have the shot. A small number of unvaccinated passengers have been allowed to sail with special exemptions and testing requirements.
Just a few days ago, Royal Caribbean announced six passengers — including four vaccinated — tested positive on one of its ships. Five of the six were asymptomatic.
Overall, cases continue to be found on ships but any spread seems to be kept in check due to vaccinations and onboard protocols.