ONBOARD THE MSC SEASHORE — Twenty-eight fully vaccinated guests and crew on the MSC Seashore have tested positive for Covid-19. The Seashore is the latest ship to report an outbreak as the omicron variant surges in the U.S.
MSC said that the 28 cases are among 4,714 guests and crew — 0.6% of the onboard population. The ship reported that the majority of those that tested positive are asymptomatic or have very mild symptoms.
MSC said it discovered the cases via routine testing and that all cases and their close contacts were being isolated in balcony cabins in a dedicated area of the ship.
The news came on Day 4 of a five-day cruise that is ending in Miami on Dec. 23.
Royal Caribbean last week said that 48 people on a Symphony of the Seas cruise had tested positive for Covid-19, and before that Norwegian Cruise Line reported a “handful” of cases on a sailing from New Orleans.
According to reports, the Carnival Panorama canceled a call at Cabo San Lucas after local authorities demanded all passengers be tested due to Covid cases onboard. St. Lucia denied entry to Royal Caribbean’s Explorer of the Seas after crew members tested positive.
The outbreaks come with the highly transmissible omicron variant taking hold in the U.S., representing 73% of new infections according to the CDC — a nearly sixfold increase in only seven days.
MSC reminded everyone aboard to continue wearing masks indoors unless eating or drinking and to practice social distancing. The ship is providing complimentary Covid testing to any guests that choose to be tested.
“I’m not too worried,” said an MSC Seashore passenger from Raleigh, N.C. “We always wear masks indoors and we got our boosters. We’ll be a little more careful about social distancing for tonight.”
Over the last week, Royal Caribbean, Carnival and Norwegian all tightened their ship protocols and began mandating that even vaccinated guests wear masks indoors unless eating or drinking.
Royal Caribbean said last Friday that it would require all passengers to wear masks indoors on sailings through Jan. 5. MSC already requires that guests wear masks indoors in public areas unless eating or drinking.
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