COVID cases found on Norwegian Cruise ship in New Orleans

Ten Norwegian Cruise ship passengers are diagnosed with COVID-19 as they return to New Orleans after week-long to Central America: 3,200 fellow guests to be tested before de-boarding

  • A Norwegian Cruise ship returning to New Orleans has detected ten cases of COVID-19 among its crews and guests
  • The ship, which held over 3,200 passengers, had departed New Orleans for a week long cruise on November 28 with stops in Belize, Honduras and Mexico
  •  The members and passengers onboard will be tested for COVID before leaving and will be provided with post-exposure and quarantine public health guidance
  • Those who tested positive will either go home or self-isolate 

A Norwegian Cruise ship returning to New Orleans has detected ten cases of COVID-19 among its crews and guests.

The cruise ship Norwegian Breakaway, owned by Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings Ltd, had departed New Orleans on a weeklong cruise on November 28 and had stops in Belize, Honduras and Mexico, according to the Louisiana Department of Health.

The vessel, which held over 3,200 passengers, was set to reach New Orleans on Sunday morning.  

Everyone on board will be tested for COVID-19 before leaving and will be provided with post-exposure and quarantine public health guidance by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

People who test positive for COVID-19 will either travel to their homes or self-isolate according to CDC guidelines, the health agency said. 

According to their statement, Norwegian ‘has been adhering to appropriate quarantine and isolation protocols as new cases and exposures have been identified aboard this vessel.’

Officials did not release any information about the conditions of those who have contracted the virus. reached out to NCL for comment to confirm if the outbreak was related to the omicron variant. 

A Norwegian Cruise ship has detected ten cases of COVID-19 among its guests and crews

The vessel, which held over 3,200 passengers, departed for New Orleans for a week long cruise on November 28 with stops in Belize, Honduras and Mexico

Everyone on board was tested and briefed on COVID precautions. Those who test positive will either go home or self-isolate

Cruise ships were an early source of outbreaks last year at the start of the coronavirus pandemic as some ships were rejected at ports and passengers were forced into quarantine. 

Some passengers died of COVID-19 at sea while others fell so ill they had to be carried out of the vessels on stretchers.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued a no-sail order in March 2020, prompting a standstill that ended last June as cruise ships began to leave U.S. ports with new health and safety requirements. 

According to Norwegian’s website, the company requires all passengers and crew members to have been vaccinated against the virus at least two weeks prior to departure.

A No Sail Order was issued for ships in March 2020 due to the fears of spreading COVID-19. 

The CDC issued a Framework for Conditional Sailing Order on October 30, 2022 which included creating laboratory testing sites for ship crew members, simulated voyages made to test the ship’s operator’s ability to handled COVID cases onboard, as well as operations to minimize the spread and transmission of the virus among passengers.

The order has continued to be extended and is currently set to remain in effect until January 15, 2022.

With COVID cases on the rise again, concerns over travel operations have been a major point of discussion, especially with the new Omicron variant.

The Omicron variant was first detected in South Africa and has now spread to different countries, including 16 states in the US.  

It is not clear, however, if the Omicron variant is more transmissible than other forms of the virus or can be protected by current vaccines. It also remains unclear how the new variant will affect travel as well as other activities relating to large crowds.     

Recently, a Minnesota man tested positive for the Omicron variant of COVID-19 after traveling to a New York City anime convention last month.  

The man, who has not been identified, reportedly alerted health officials in his home state of the potential spread – which he says affected approximately 15 members of the 35-strong friend group.

It is unclear whether any of his friends contracted the Omicron variant – which is thought to be more transmissible than previous versions of the respiratory virus.  

According to officials from the Minnesota Department of Health, the group gathered at the crowded convention at Manhattan’s Jacob K. Javits Center in Midtown – which drew more than 53,000 people – sometime between November 19 and 21. 

In the days following the event, the department says, roughly half of the group tested positive for the virus. Entry to the event required that participants be vaccinated, however, it is unclear if any in the group who got infected were under the age of 12.

The man, – who was one of the first to test positive for the Omicron strain in the US since it surfaced in southern Africa late last month – was fully vaccinated and had a booster shot.

Earlier in the week, the department revealed that the man first experienced ‘mild symptoms’ of the virus on November 22, the day after the convention ended.

The man then got tested two days later, officials say, and subsequently tested positive for the variant – the second person in the US to do so.  

Members of the friend group hailed from an array of states across the country – prompting fears that the convention contributed – and may still be contributing – to the strain’s spread across the nation. 

On Saturday, those fears were somewhat confirmed when Connecticut Governor Ned Lamont reported the first case in his state, which was contracted by a man in his 60s who had a relative attend the anime convention.

Both the man and his relative were fully vaccinated and experiencing only mild symptoms, officials say.   

A Minnesota man tested positive of COVID-19 after traveling to NYC for an anime convention 

The convention, called Anime NYC, saw more than 53,00 guests flock from all over the country to Manhattan’s Javits Center

Seven of the cases have been found in New York City, once a global epicenter of the pandemic, and the other in Suffolk County.

The arrival of Omicron comes as hospitals statewide continue to strain under a surge in coronavirus cases, most traced to the Delta variant, along with staffing shortages.

The new variant could also slow global economic recovery, just as the Delta strain did, International Monetary Fund chief Kristalina Georgieva said on Friday.

‘Even before the arrival of this new variant, we were concerned that the recovery, while it continues, is losing somewhat momentum,’ she said.

‘A new variant that may spread very rapidly can dent confidence.’  

The outbreak of new variant in the province of Gauteng in South Africa, where it surfaced, has triggered the sharpest rise in hospitalizations of any previous wave.

Gauteng alone has seen over 1,000 hospital admissions in the past week, quadrupling the figure recorded just two weeks ago, while South Africa recorded a total of 1,802 hospitalizations in the past week to Friday – the latest day for which data is available. 

The virus also appears to be more transmissible, with cases up from around 300 three weeks ago to nearly 7,000 on a seven-day rolling average.  

Cases have soared by a massive 408 per cent in just one week while deaths rose from eight to 21 across the same time period, according to the latest figures. 

The country’s National Institute for Communicable Diseases recorded another 16,366 cases on Saturday, with the vast majority in epicenter Gauteng province – a 408 per cent increase from last weekend when just 3,220 new infections were registered across the previous 24 hours. 

It is not known which variant the new cases recorded were.   

The Omicron-stricken country recorded 21 deaths on Saturday, up 162 per cent from last week when 8 deaths were announced. 

The latest figures bring the total number of cases in South Africa up to 3,020,569, while the number of deaths have increased to a total of 89,956.

South Africa is seeing a meteoric rise in its cases amid the rampant spread of the Omicron variant, which scientists say has already reached every province in the country.  

Sharing Omicron figures from the Steve Biko/Tshwane District Hospital Complex, she tweeted: ‘Most COVID-19 patients didn’t know they had COVID when they got admitted (they were admitted for another condition).’ 

Public Health officials in Gauteng — where Johannesburg is based — say their R rate has surged to 3.5 from around one a month ago. It means every ten people infected with the virus are now spreading it to 35 others. In the UK, the R rate has never risen above 1.6. 

While Omicron’s infectiousness seems unquestionable, there is growing uncertainty about how well it can evade vaccines and how severe the illness it causes will be. A pre-print published in the country found the variant was at least two-and-a-half times better at re-infecting people than all other variants.           

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