Sunday, August 2, 2020

36 cruise ship crew members test positive for coronavirus after sailing with hundreds of tourists

36 cruise crew members test positive for COVID-19 after sailing with hundreds of tourists
A Norwegian cruise ship sailed around with hundreds of passengers on two trips before docking, disembarking the tourists — and learning 36 of its crew members had the coronavirus.

The liner company, Hurtigruten, said it only learned of the contagion outbreak among its workers Friday — two weeks after the ship’s recent first trip and a week after the second.

Now, “209 guests from the first voyage [July 17] and 178 guests from the July 24 departure will self-quarantine in line with Norwegian health authority regulations,” Hurtigruten said in a statement Saturday.

“We work closely with the Norwegian national and local health authorities for follow-up, information, further testing, and infection tracking.”

The company said four of the 158 crew members aboard its MS Roald Amundsen “were isolated several days ago because of other disease symptoms, showing no symptoms of COVID-19.”

Then “they were routinely tested,” found to have the coronavirus and admitted to a hospital in Tromso, Norway, on Friday morning.

The other 32 workers who have since returned positive tests have not “shown any signs of disease or symptoms of COVID-19,” the liner said.

The ship had been set to sail again, for the Svalbard archipelago in Norway, on Friday afternoon, but that trip was cancelled, the company said.

Cruise ships became so synonymous with coronavirus outbreaks at the start of the pandemic this past spring that one major line — Royal Caribbean — dropped “Cruises” from its name last week. The industry has said it is flailing over continuing fears about catching the contagion aboard the ships.

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