Fully vaccinated passengers on Belize-bound cruise ship test positive for COVID-19

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Twenty-seven passengers, fully vaccinated against COVID-19, onboard the Carnival Vista cruise ship tested positive for the virus, Belize Tourism Board reported.

The tourism board added that all of those who tested positive were vaccinated and were asymptomatic or showed “very mild symptoms” and that “no further cases have been found.”

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Twenty-six of the 27 infected people onboard the ship, which departed from Galveston, Texas in the US, were Carnival crew members while the remaining person was a guest.

The ship was headed to Belize when the COVID-19 outbreak was reported to health authorities, online news media ABC News reported.

“We have managed the situation utilizing stringent health protocols which included placing those who tested positive in isolation and close contacts in quarantine,” the cruise ship company told ABC News in a statement on Friday.

“Guests on board the July 31 and August 7 sailings were notified and kept updated, and the CDC and destination officials have been apprised,” the statement added.

The cruise ship docked in Belize on Wednesday when COVID-19 contact tracing was initiated for the other guests, amounting to almost 3,000, and 1,500 crew.

“After a thorough review of the situation, and after determining that the risk is low, including the fact that CDC is aware of the situation, it was concluded that the situation is contained, and safety protocols are proving effective,” the board said.

As a result of the outbreak, which proved to be one of the worst since cruises resumed sailing this summer, Carnival updated its mask-wearing policy last week. It will now require all guests on their cruise ships to wear masks in some indoor spaces and will be required to show proof of a negative COVID-19 test regardless of whether they are vaccinated or not.

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