NEW ORLEANS — A Norwegian Cruise Line ship has enacted quarantine and isolation protocols after docking in New Orleans early Sunday with at least 10 passengers and crew members testing positive for COVID-19.
The Norwegian Breakaway set sail Nov. 28 from the Port of New Orleans with more than 3,200 people onboard for an itinerary that included Belize, Honduras and Mexico, WWL-TV reported.
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.
Meanwhile, Norwegian “has been adhering to appropriate quarantine and isolation protocols as new cases and exposures have been identified aboard this vessel,” the Louisiana Department of Health confirmed in a statement issued Saturday night.
Everyone on board the Breakaway 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, Reuters reported.
Specifically, the Louisiana Department of Health confirmed that anyone who tests positive for COVID-19 will be required to either travel directly to their homes or self-isolate in accordance with those guidelines.
Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards, state health officials, the city of New Orleans and Port of New Orleans officials are aware of the current situation and are working with the CDC to enforce current COVID-19 agreements and protocols with the cruise line, WWL-TV reported.
Officials did not release any information about the conditions of those who have contracted the virus.
Cruise ships were an early source of 2020 COVID-19 outbreaks 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.
-- The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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