Carnival Vista Passenger Dies from COVID-19


A passenger on the Carnival Vista has died from COVID-19 after several cases – mostly among crew members – were reported earlier this month on the cruise ship.

The New York Times reported Monday that the 77-year-old woman, who had tested positive, died at a hospital in Tulsa, Oklahoma, after being transferred there from Belize.

As we previously reported, the Carnival Vista arrived in Belize during a weeklong round-trip voyage from Galveston, Texas, on August 11, and reported to authorities that it had 27 positive COVID-19 cases on board. Most of the cases, 26 in all, were among the ship’s crew members. It was unclear whether the woman was the only passenger among the 27 cases on that particular voyage, as has been widely reported. Rather, it appears she was on an earlier voyage that departed Galveston on July 31.

Belize authorities reported that the Carnival Vista arrived (on Aug. 11) with 2,895 guests and 1,441 crew members. On that voyage, nearly all of the ship’s crew members were vaccinated, as were more than 96% of the guests on board, the Belize Tourism Board reported at the time, adding that all cases were among vaccinated persons.

The New York Times report said the ill passenger was disembarked in Belize and admitted to a local hospital, where her condition worsened. She was eventually evacuated to a Tulsa hospital, where she later died. An update on a GoFundMe page set up for the victim says she was transferred to Tulsa on August 6, which would not put her on the trip that arrived on August 11. Therefore, it is unclear if she was vaccinated.

“We deeply regret the death of a guest who sailed on the Carnival Vista,” Carnival Cruise Line said in a statement initially reported by the Times and now obtained by gCaptain. The statement added that the guest “almost certainly” did not contract the virus while aboard the Vista.

Nonetheless, the incident highlights the difficulty cruise lines face in getting back to sea. For this reason, updated guidelines from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control recommend that high-risk travelers avoid cruise travel altogether, regardless of whether or not they are vaccinated.

In response to our request for comment, Carnival Cruise Line provided the following statement:

“Carnival has implemented a set of protocols that are designed to flex as needed to adapt to the changing public health situation related to COVID-19. We met the standards of a vaccinated cruise ship as defined by the CDC, with at least 95% of our guests and all of our crew vaccinated, and then implemented additional measures, as we are now requiring vaccinated guests to present both proof of vaccination and a negative COVID test at check-in. The few guests who cannot be vaccinated are tested twice before boarding the ship, and again upon disembarkation. And all guests are required to wear masks in interior areas of the ship where people gather, such as dining rooms, theaters and casinos. Unfortunately, no place on land or at sea is COVID-free at this time, but we are committed to protecting the health and safety of our guests, crew and the communities we visit and have not hesitated to act quickly and go above and beyond existing public health guidelines.”

Source gCaptain

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