A fully vaccinated passenger on an Alaska cruise tested positive for COVID-19 and received “private air travel” to his home, according to Celebrity Cruises.
On Sunday, a passenger reported cold symptoms to the ship’s medical staff and then tested positive for COVID-19, the cruise line said in a statement Tuesday. The person was isolated in the ship’s medical facility for surveillance. The company said it traced the contacts and tested the person’s close contacts, all of which were negative for the virus.
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The person who tested positive was “provided with private air transportation to the comfort of their home, ensuring that our security measures were maintained from door to door,” the statement said.
Cruise line spokeswoman Susan Lomax said the ship was in Skagway on Tuesday and would be at sea before returning to Seattle on Friday.
Robert Barr, deputy city manager for Juneau, told KTOO Public Media the person was on board the Celebrity Millennium, which stopped in the Alaskan capital on Monday.
“I don’t think we ever expected the cruise season to be entirely COVID-free,” Barr said at the point of sale. He said he was confident in the city’s efforts with the cruise industry and the state’s health department to ensure a safe season.
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Public health officials have said vaccines are the best defense against the spread of the coronavirus. Dr Joe McLaughlin, the state epidemiologist, noted that the vaccine’s efficacy was “exceptionally high” but said the vaccine was “not perfect”.
The state health department reports that 74% of Juneau residents aged 12 or older are fully vaccinated against COVID-19.