Ruby Princess cruise ship docked in San Francisco with 143 COVID-19 cases

For the third time this year, the same Princess Cruise Lines ship has docked in California with passengers testing positive for COVID-19[feminine].

The Ruby Princess arrived in San Francisco on April 11 after a trip to Hawaii during which 143 passengers on board tested positive for the virus, the city’s health department told CBS MoneyWatch. It was discovered that more than 70 people had COVID-19 in March while on the same ship after returning from a 15-day Panama Canal cruise. In January, 12 passengers arriving in San Francisco after a 10-day cruise to Mexico on the Ruby Princess tested positive for COVID-19 after being randomly tested for the virus.

Hawaii cruise passengers told the San Jose Mercury News they noticed signs of an outbreak almost immediately.

“It was pretty clear there was a large percentage of sick passengers, but unless you self-reported, you were free to go ahead and infect other passengers,” California resident Ted said. Vomacka at Mercury News. “It was obvious, watching all the coughing and hacking, that some form of infection was walking around.”

The San Francisco Health Department said everyone aboard the Hawaii cruise was vaccinated and those who tested positive had mild or no symptoms.

“Only one person was hospitalized, which speaks to the incredible effectiveness of the vaccination,” the department said in a statement.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is currently investigating the Ruby Princess for virus outbreaks, as well as four other Princess Cruise ships where COVID-19 has surfaced.

Princess isn’t the only cruise line still struggling with the virus. The CDC is also investigating outbreaks on more than a dozen Royal Caribbean cruise ships and more than a dozen Norwegian Cruise Line ships. Cruise ships are required to notify the CDC of any confirmed cases of COVID-19 on board.

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Cruise passengers have been beaten by COVID-19[feminine] outbreaks in the early days of the pandemic, with ships carrying infected passengers forbidden to dock in California and Florida. The Grand Princess, another ship owned by Princess Cruises, was quarantined at sea for six days after 21 people on board contracted the virus.

The number of people booking cruises has plummeted over the past two years as the CDC warned against cruising regardless of a person’s vaccination status. In 2020 and 2021, cruise lines collectively lost $63 billion and cut thousands of jobs, according to industry data. The Cruise Lines International Association said the industry should recover fully by next year.

Princess Cruise Lines did not respond to requests for comment on the latest virus outbreak on the Ruby Princess. In a statement to Mercury News, the company said its “established COVID-19 protocols are working.”

“When cases are identified due to onboard testing, cruise ship protocols help maximize onboard containment with rapid response procedures designed to protect all other guests and crew as well as communities that ships visit,” the cruise line told the newspaper.

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