Nearly 50 Royal Caribbean cruise ship passengers catch COVID-19
Royal Caribbean says 98% of the infected passengers were vaccinated
Nearly 50 people aboard the world's largest cruise ship tested positive for the coronavirus, ending a seven-day journey around the Caribbean over the weekend.
On Saturday, 48 people of the more than 6,000 passengers and crew members aboard Royal Caribbean's Symphony of the Seas ship tested positive, which is less than 1% of the onboard community, Royal Caribbean said in a statement.
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The ship departed Dec. 11 and visited St. Maarten, St. Thomas and Royal Caribbean's private island, Perfect Day, before returning to Miami on Dec. 18.
After a passenger tested positive, the ship conducted contract tracing, which helped to identify the additional cases, Royal Caribbean said.
"Each person quickly went into quarantine. Everyone who tested positive was asymptomatic or mildly symptomatic, and we continuously monitored their health," Royal Caribbean said in a statement.
Six guests disembarked earlier in the cruise but all the other passengers were assisted when the ship docked at a Miami port, according to Royal Caribbean.
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According to the cruise ship operator, the majority of the people on board, 95%, were fully vaccinated and 98% of those who tested positive were also fully vaccinated.
Per the company's policy, anyone who is at least 12 years old must be fully vaccinated and the final dose of their vaccine must be administered at least two weeks before sailing.
Royal Caribbean also "strongly" recommends that fully vaccinated guests receive a booster shot as well "when they become eligible to do so" although it's not required.
Any traveler under 12 years old must provide a negative PCR test prior to sailing and another negative at the terminal prior to boarding.
Royal Caribbean said its entire cruise ship staff are fully vaccinated and undergo weekly testing.