A total of 27 people sailing on Carnival Cruise Line’s Carnival Vista ship have tested positive for COVID-19. Of the 27 who tested positive, 26 are crew members, and one is a passenger, the Belize Tourism Board said in a news release Wednesday.
A spokesperson for the cruise line, AnneMarie Matthews, also confirmed the news and said positive COVID cases were first announced last Wednesday during the previous cruise that disembarked last Saturday in Galveston, Texas. It’s unclear how many people were positive at that time.
“We are managing a small number of COVID cases on board Vista,” Matthews said, adding: “Guests on board both the previous and current sailing were informed and, specifically on the current sailing, the Captain has made at least two announcements related to this.”
According to the release, the Carnival Vista cruise ship was carrying 2,895 passengers and 1,441 crew members when it arrived in Belize. Usually, the ship can carry 3,934 passengers and 1,450 crew members.
On the ship, 99.98% of crew members and 96.5% of passengers are vaccinated, the tourism board said, noting that all of the people who tested positive are vaccinated. Most are asymptomatic, and a few have mild symptoms.
Contact tracing was also completed on the cruise ship, and so far, there are no additional positive cases. All those who tested positive for the virus remain isolated. The Belize Tourism Board also assured that additional protocols were put in place like increased mask-wearing indoors, the use of N95 masks by the crew, social areas for the crew were closed, and all guests for the next departure will have to have a negative rapid test before being allowed to board. This is regardless of their vaccination status.
The Ministry of Health and Wellness inspected the ship. The Belize Tourism Board shared that it “has been able to verify that the measures put in place by the ship are meticulous and deemed highly effective.”