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First cruise is positive for covid: What will have to change?


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51 minutes ago, BoozinCroozin said:

It is not me, it is the media!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

In case you haven't been keeping track over the last year, the CDC is very resistant to the media.  I seriously doubt that any media coverage of two positive cases will cause the CDC to "backtrack" on their requirements.  They are the ones that matter, not the media.  There is enough demand for cruises by hard core cruisers with backed up FCC, so that the lines are not that worried about the presence of a couple of cases, particularly if mitigation protocols, once again, the process, worked and kept those two cases from spreading.

 

55 minutes ago, BoozinCroozin said:

The cruise industry needed a pristine start, prove their protocols work, and insure there were NO covid cases to start.

No, they were aware that there would be cases to start, just as there continue to be cases in the US and the wider world.  Again, without knowing exactly what Celebrity's protocols are, and/or what was actually done onboard, it would appear that the protocols did work, since the protocols are not designed to prevent cases from coming onboard, but to prevent cases from spreading.

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I hope they re-tested the passengers, because false positives are possible.  Maybe they got vaccinated recently and that's what triggered the positive result?

 

People act like cruising is inherently disease ridden and dangerous, when people have been riding on planes, buses, trains, ferries etc. for months without ill effects.

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54 minutes ago, Roz said:

I hope they re-tested the passengers, because false positives are possible.  Maybe they got vaccinated recently and that's what triggered the positive result?

 

Yes, they re-tested the passengers; both were still positive.

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Of course we all know that the same thing happened with some of the cruises out of Europe when they started only to later prove to be false positives. What kind of test was used. If it was the rapid test, they are often wrong (40-60% of the time) with asymptomatic  people or those not exhibiting any symptoms.  My nephew's wife "tested positive" to a rapid test only to retest negative to the pCr test. I sent him the data from the FDA on the number of false positives for the rapid test. So unless they failed a rapid test and have subsequently failed a pCR test, I would not report them as a case.  But some people just want to shout "Fire" in the theater will not allow honest facts to be published.  Just my opinion. 

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For what it is worth. The latest guidance on the CDC website only references the threshold for simulated test voyages (See Technical Instructions for Simulated Voyages by Cruise Ship Operators under CDC’s Framework for Conditional Sailing Order | Quarantine | CDC)  and it is "During simulated voyages, this threshold is met when 1.5% of COVID-19 cases is detected in passengers or 1.0% of COVID-19 cases is detected in crew."   It would seem that it also depends on what level they are cruising at.  For Celebrity Millennium it has capacity for 2,138 passengers (but slightly more than 1200 on board) and 920-990 crew would require 32 cases in the passengers at capacity or 18 at 1,200 passengers.  It the crew the threshold would be about 9.  (2 cases doesn't meet the threshold).  Now this is for the test cruises for the CDC and this is a cruise outside US waters so the CSO is not applicable.  

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41 minutes ago, TXRANCHER said:

For what it is worth. The latest guidance on the CDC website only references the threshold for simulated test voyages

I believe it says next that "this may be modified, or amended, for further simulated or restricted cruises.

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3 hours ago, chengkp75 said:

In case you haven't been keeping track over the last year, the CDC is very resistant to the media.  I seriously doubt that any media coverage of two positive cases will cause the CDC to "backtrack" on their requirements.  They are the ones that matter, not the media.  There is enough demand for cruises by hard core cruisers with backed up FCC, so that the lines are not that worried about the presence of a couple of cases, particularly if mitigation protocols, once again, the process, worked and kept those two cases from spreading.

 

No, they were aware that there would be cases to start, just as there continue to be cases in the US and the wider world.  Again, without knowing exactly what Celebrity's protocols are, and/or what was actually done onboard, it would appear that the protocols did work, since the protocols are not designed to prevent cases from coming onboard, but to prevent cases from spreading.

I don't think the media effect on the CDC will be a problem, but that does not mean bad publicity is not a problem or could not become a problem. To survive in the long run, the industry needs new cruise passengers. This is where bad publicity could become a problem. "Floating petri dish" has already entered the public consciousness.

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7 minutes ago, ontheweb said:

I don't think the media effect on the CDC will be a problem, but that does not mean bad publicity is not a problem or could not become a problem. To survive in the long run, the industry needs new cruise passengers. This is where bad publicity could become a problem. "Floating petri dish" has already entered the public consciousness.

You really think the "floating petri dish" will last longer in the public consciousness than the Costa Concordia?  That was going to be the "death knell" of cruising.

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3 minutes ago, chengkp75 said:

You really think the "floating petri dish" will last longer in the public consciousness than the Costa Concordia?  That was going to be the "death knell" of cruising.

Yes, because it was repeated so often and because it was associated with Covid. I hope people realized that the captain (does not deserve a capital letter) of the Costa Concordia was a one of a kind among cruise ship Captains.

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I just read the roll call and the feedback was that with contact tracing , they tested those in close contact and all were negative .  All onboard activities carrying on as usual.

 

I think the outside world and media are making way more of this than the people onboard 

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For me it is an opportunity to see the protocols in place and to see how how I feel about them, especially given that the general consensus is that there will be COVID cases on ships.

 

A couple of things stand out for me.  One was the delay that it took for the cruise line conduct contact tracing.  A passenger on this cruise has shared on another site that she learned of the cases not from the cruise line but from industry colleagues when she returned from a shore excursion.  

 

It also seems, although the author of the post didn't provide an exact time line, that it took some time after she returned to the ship for the cruise line to inform her that she was a close contact to the cases by being on a shore excursion several days prior with the positive cases.  Once identified as a potential close contact the passenger was told to quarantine in her cabin until she could be tested and the test results were obtained.  In her case, she was told to quarantine all evening until the next morning.  Luckily, her test results were negative.

 

So my take away is that if you are choosing to cruise, you need to be prepared that if there are positive cases on the ship and you are deemed a close contact that you will need to quarantine in your cabin until you receive the all clear.

 

We also know that a MSC ship was recently denied entry to a Mediterranean port due to a positive case so you may also need to be prepared to miss ports due to cases.  This may certainly impact your enjoyment of your cruise.

 

The Celebrity passengers were disembarked and required to quarantine at a hotel until they receive negative test results.  We don't know who is responsible for the costs of this hotel.

 

More to come... 

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8 hours ago, Roz said:

If most of the passengers onboard are vaccinated, how can it be a spreader event?

Easy - on a ship with 3,000 passengers of whom “most”  (which only means more than 1500) are vaccinated, you can have over 1400 not vaccinated .  If there is an outbreak where, say, just one in ten of those unvaccinated get infected - you will have over 100 cases —- which easily qualifies as a “spreader event”.  Unlikely - but surely possible.

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9 hours ago, Roz said:

I hope they re-tested the passengers, because false positives are possible.  Maybe they got vaccinated recently and that's what triggered the positive result?

The reliable sources that I've read say that there is no way that the vaccine will make one test positive.

 

Unless something has changed, false negatives are way, way, way more common than false positives.  So, why cruise lines are accepting a single negative test after one has tested positive is beyond me.

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5 hours ago, jtwind said:

Best case scenario would be to find out these 2 weren't really vaccinated.

Actually, that would be a very bad scenario, since that would show that there is no reliable verification of vaccination.  What the incident has shown is the process works.  The CDC and the cruise lines always knew there would be cases onboard, whether 100% vaccinated or not.  What is important to the CDC is that the process (the procedures and protocols) to prevent these cases from spreading to others, worked.  Quarantine of the positive cases, contact tracing using CCTV and facial recognition, testing of those identified as close contacts, and negative results on all of these, and finally negative testing of all passengers upon disembarking.  Further, isolation of the positive cases ashore as per the local government and quarantine before travel home.  That is the process, and it worked.  No spread was found.  That is the goal.

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7 hours ago, navybankerteacher said:

Easy - on a ship with 3,000 passengers of whom “most”  (which only means more than 1500) are vaccinated, you can have over 1400 not vaccinated .  If there is an outbreak where, say, just one in ten of those unvaccinated get infected - you will have over 100 cases —- which easily qualifies as a “spreader event”.  Unlikely - but surely possible.

 

I didn't realize there were 3,000 passengers on the ship, and I thought 95% were vaccinated.  Maybe I'm confusing this with another sailing.  

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6 hours ago, jtwind said:

Best case scenario would be to find out these 2 weren't really vaccinated.

That would call into attention the problem cruise lines might run into verifying who has been vaccinated and who has not.

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There's not a lot for me to say at this time because we don't know enough.  I advise everyone to watch for answers to the following questions.  Keep in mind that some of these answers won't be made public, and some might never be known:

 

  1. Is this the end of the cases?  There are about 10 days until everyone involved can truly be given the all clear
  2. Did the couple fake their way onboard?  There's no reason to think that they did, but it's a possibility until ruled out
  3. Were either of them immunocompromised?
  4. Where and how did they catch it?
  5. Did they catch it at the same time from the same source?  Did they catch it at separate times?  Did one catch it from the other?
  6. Which version of the virus did they get?
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7 hours ago, jtwind said:

The reliable sources that I've read say that there is no way that the vaccine will make one test positive.

 

Unless something has changed, false negatives are way, way, way more common than false positives.  So, why cruise lines are accepting a single negative test after one has tested positive is beyond me.

Breakthrough cases with fully vaccinated people testing positive for the virus are happening.  The vaccines are not 100% effective against all variants.  Not only are fully vaccinated people testing positive but some are being hospitalized.  

 

 

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The only way to not find covid on cruise ships is to stop testing.  They don't test people leaving the supermarket near your house, so no covid is reported in there.    Vaccinated or not, there will be cases found when testing is done no matter where. 

 

Have a look at this article from Wikipedia about the 1918 Spanish flu epidemic.  It ended without vaccinations.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spanish_flu

 

Two new cases of covid being reported isn't worth talking about.  If you aren't vaccinated or haven't already had covid and don't need to be vaccinated, and are still scared and staying home with your mommy, then get vaccinated.  If you aren't scared, but aren't vaccinated, then just go about your business.  It is your decision to make, not the government's.  The vaccinations are effective, but also is acquired immunity.  Those who are vaccinated and still panicked, .. get over it.. your chance of getting a bad case is tiny.

 

Time to move on from covid panic, and start talking about your next cruise.

 

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Statistically, what are the chances that 2 vaccinated people traveling together and sharing a cabin are both breakthrough cases?

 

@vintagegarage, you make some excellent points.

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4 hours ago, Roz said:

 

I didn't realize there were 3,000 passengers on the ship, and I thought 95% were vaccinated.  Maybe I'm confusing this with another sailing.  

Are we talking about Celebrity's Millennium? They did not have 3,000 on board. It was between 500-600 people.......they had GMA on board as well.  It was not nearly a full ship.  Not even close.

 

Hi Roz🙂 hope you are doing well.

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4 hours ago, chengkp75 said:

Actually, that would be a very bad scenario, since that would show that there is no reliable verification of vaccination.  What the incident has shown is the process works.  The CDC and the cruise lines always knew there would be cases onboard, whether 100% vaccinated or not.  What is important to the CDC is that the process (the procedures and protocols) to prevent these cases from spreading to others, worked.  Quarantine of the positive cases, contact tracing using CCTV and facial recognition, testing of those identified as close contacts, and negative results on all of these, and finally negative testing of all passengers upon disembarking.  Further, isolation of the positive cases ashore as per the local government and quarantine before travel home.  That is the process, and it worked.  No spread was found.  That is the goal.

I disagree.  If it was found that these two lied about vaccination, the news would be all over it.  Just release a statement, true or not, saying something like 'they could face up to 10 years in prison', and watch what happens.

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