(The Hill) – More than 40 passengers aboard a Royal Caribbean Symphony of the Seas cruise ship have tested positive for the novel coronavirus, USA Today reported. The cruise line confirmed that 44 out of 6,074 passengers and crew members had tested positive for COVID-19 on the cruise, which ended in Miami on Saturday.
Royal Caribbean spokeswoman Lyan Sierra-Caro said the cruise line also notified passengers that an individual on the ship tested positive for the omicron variant.
“We were notified by the (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) that a guest onboard our (December) 4th cruise tested positive and it was identified as omicron,” Sierra-Caro told USA Today. “They (CDC) asked us to notify guests on the sailing, the one that ended today, and the current one.”
Passengers age 12 and older were required to be fully vaccinated against the virus and test negative to board the ship, with children ineligible for the vaccine required to show a negative test, according to USA Today. Sierra-Caro also said the 44 passengers were identified through contact tracing after a lone guest tested positive and then quickly quarantined, USA Today reported.
“Everyone who tested positive is asymptomatic, and we continually monitored their health. Six guests were disembarked earlier in the cruise and transported home. The remaining guests received assistance today upon our arrival,” Sierro-Caro said.
Dozens of U.S. states have now reported cases of the omicron variant, and public officials across the country are reconsidering public health measures to guard against its spread. In a statement, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention confirmed it is aware of the situation on the Royal Caribbean cruise ship, saying it is “working with RCI to gather more information about the cases and possible exposures, and RCI will be collecting specimens from the current voyage for genetic sequencing.”