The same Princess Cruise Lines ship docked in California for the third year with passengers who were positive for COVID-19.
According to CBS MoneyWatch, the Ruby Princess arrived in San Francisco in April 11 following a trip to Hawaii. 143 passengers aboard tested positive for the virus. After a 15-day cruise through the Panama Canal, more than 70 people were diagnosed with COVID-19. After being randomly tested, 12 passengers who arrived in San Francisco from a 10-day cruise to Mexico on the Ruby Princess were diagnosed with COVID-19.
The San Jose Mercury News received reports from passengers on the Hawaii cruise that they saw signs of an outbreak almost immediately.
According to Ted Vomacka, a California resident, “It was clear that there was a large number of passengers who were sick. But unless you self reported, you were free and unassisted to continue infecting other passengers.” It was evident from all the hacking and coughing that there was some kind of infection.
San Francisco’s Health Department stated that everyone on the Hawaii cruise had been vaccinated. Those who were positive for the vaccine showed either mild or no symptoms.
The department stated in a statement that only one person was admitted to hospital, which is a testament to the effectiveness of vaccination.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention are currently investigating the Ruby Princess and four other Princess Cruise Ships where COVID-19 was detected.
Princess is not the only cruise line still suffering from the virus. The CDC is investigating outbreaks on more than a dozen Royal Caribbean cruise ships as well as more than a dozen Norwegian Cruise Line vessels. Any confirmed cases of COVID-19 aboard cruise ships must be reported to the CDC.
In the initial days of the pandemic COVID-19 epidemics struck cruise operators. Ships carrying infected passengers were barred from docking at California and Florida by infected passengers . After 21 people contracted the virus, Princess Cruises’ Grand Princess was placed at sea for six consecutive days.
As the CDC warned against cruises regardless if a person is vaccinated, the number of people who book cruises has fallen over the last two years. According to industry data, cruise companies lost $63 billion in 2020 and 2021 and thousands of jobs. According to the Cruise Lines International Association, the industry will make a complete recovery by next year.
Princess Cruise Lines declined to comment on the virus outbreak that struck the Ruby Princess. The company stated that its COVID-19 protocols work and issued a statement to Mercury News.
The cruise line stated that when cases are discovered through testing on board, cruise ships protocols maximize onboard containment and provide rapid response procedures to ensure the safety of all guests and crew.