Here We Go Again? COVID Outbreak on Cruise Ship Approaching New Orleans

FILE - In this May 8, 2013, file photo, people pause to look at Norwegian Cruise Line's ship, Norwegian Breakaway, on the Hudson River, in New York. On Monday, April 5, 2021, Norwegian Cruise Line’s parent company asked the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for permission to resume cruises from U.S. ports on July 4 by requiring passengers and crew members to be vaccinated against COVID-19 at least two weeks before the trip. (AP Photo/Richard Drew, File)
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The cruise ship made stops in Belize, Honduras and Mexico.

Ten people aboard a Norwegian Cruise Line ship approaching New Orleans have tested positive for COVID-19, officials said.

The Norwegian Breakaway had departed New Orleans on November 28 and is due to return this weekend, the Louisiana Department of Health said in a news release. Over the past week, the ship made stops in Belize, Honduras and Mexico.

More than 3,200 people are on board the ship, officials said.

According to the statement, Norwegian “has been adhering to appropriate quarantine and isolation protocols as new cases and exposures have been identified aboard this vessel.”

Prior to disembarking in New Orleans, each person on board will be tested for the coronavirus. Anyone who tests positive will either go directly home or self-isolate in accommodations provided by the cruise line, officials said.

Officials did not release any information about the conditions of those who have contracted the virus.

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 US 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 US 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

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