A cruise terminated its journey with a COVID outbreak despite all of its passengers and crew members being vaccinated.
According to the Louisiana Department of Health, 10 cases of COVID-19 had been identified as of Saturday.
The Norwegian Cruise Line ship Breakaway departed from New Orleans on Nov. 28 with 3,200 people on board.
After traveling to Belize, Honduras and Mexico, the Breakaway returned to dock in the city on Sunday morning, according to WVUE-TV in Baton Rouge.
Prior to disembarking, every person was provided quarantine health guidance and testing was required.
NCL released a statement on Sunday acknowledging the cases and detailing the procedures that were in place.
“We have identified a handful of COVID-19 cases among guests and crew onboard Norwegian Breakaway, which is scheduled to disembark in New Orleans, LA on December 5,” the cruise line said.
“In addition to requiring that 100% of guests and crew are fully vaccinated, per the Company’s comprehensive health and safety protocols, we have implemented quarantine, isolation and contact tracing procedures for identified cases,” it said.
“We are testing all individuals on Norwegian Breakaway prior to disembarkation, as well as providing post-exposure and quarantine public health guidance by the [Centers for Disease Control and Prevention]”, the company said.
Those who tested positive for the virus were given two quarantine options: going directly in their own vehicle to their place of residence or isolating in accommodations provided by NCL.
Norwegian Cruise Line requires that every person who travels on their ships be “fully vaccinated” at least two weeks before.
Its website claims the requirement comes with “benefits” of being able to “breathe freely” by not wearing a mask and the “peace of mind” of “surrounding yourself in safety” that everyone has been vaccinated.
The outbreak onboard the Breakaway and insight given by the CDC months prior appear to contradict this messaging.
In August, CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky claimed the vaccines work “exceptionally well” while acknowledging they cannot prevent transmission of the virus.
“Our vaccines are working exceptionally well,” CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky tells @wolfblitzer. “They continue to work well for Delta, with regard to severe illness and death – they prevent it. But what they can’t do anymore is prevent transmission.” pic.twitter.com/s83YyBQqeh
— The Situation Room (@CNNSitRoom) August 5, 2021
Cruise ships were targeted as spreaders of COVID-19 in early 2020.
“Cruise ships are often settings for outbreaks of infectious diseases because of their closed environment and contact between travelers from many countries,” the CDC noted in a March 2020 report.
The classification of travel was temporarily suspended at that time.
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