As state cases rise, 3rd Florida-based vessel is infected

A third COVID-19-related outbreak occurred on a South Florida-based cruise vessel this week.

As state cases rise, 3rd Florida-based vessel is infected

MIAMI -- The third COVID-19-related outbreak on a South Florida-based cruise vessel occurred this week. This was as Florida's coronavirus cases reached their second-highest point since the beginning of the pandemic.

Carnival stated in a statement that the virus was contracted by a number of crew and passengers aboard Carnival Freedom's cruise. The ship was therefore denied entry to Bonaire, Aruba and Bonaire.

After an eight-day cruise, the ship was expected to return to Miami on Sunday with 2,497 passengers and 1112 crew members. Carnival stated that passengers had to be tested and vaccinated before they could leave on Saturday.

The statement stated that "Carnival Freedom" is following all protocols. However, there are a few people onboard who have been isolated due to positive COVID tests. "Our protocols foresee this possibility and we apply them as necessary to ensure the safety and health of our crew and guests."

Ashley Peterson, a ship passenger, tweeted a photo showing a Dec. 22 letter sent by the captain, in which he apologized for not being able to make stops in Aruba or Bonaire. According to the letter, passengers would receive $100 per room in onboard credit as well as refunds for trips planned at these two stops.

"We are sorry to hear about these unexpected changes that could affect your cruise vacation. However, we trust you realize this is beyond our control," stated Capt. Mario Imbimbo.

This was the third case this week that affected cruise ships operated under Royal Caribbean and Carnival, which left Miami and Fort Lauderdale ports.

According to data from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Florida had 26,811 COVID-19 new cases on Thursday. This is the second-highest daily count since March 2020 when the pandemic began.

Last August, 27,802 cases were reported.

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