Dec 6, 2021 - Health

Cruise ship COVID outbreak: Louisiana officials find "probable" Omicron case

A view of the Norwegian Breakaway cruise ship in Marseille, France, on May 25, 2020.

The Norwegian Breakaway cruise ship. Photo: Gerard Bottino/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

Louisiana health authorities said a suspected Omicron case was one of 17 confirmed COVID-19 infections among the passengers and crew of a Norwegian Cruise Lines ship that returned to New Orleans Sunday.

Driving the news: The Norwegian Breakaway departed New Orleans on Nov. 28 with more than 3,200 people on board, before making stops in Belize, Honduras and Mexico, according to a Louisiana Department of Health statement.

  • The department said Saturday that 10 COVID-19 cases had been identified among passengers and crew. One of these was a "probable" Omicron case, per a department statement Sunday evening announcing that seven more infections had been confirmed.
  • Norwegian said in a statement to news outlets Sunday morning that all of the cases initially confirmed were asymptomatic and everyone was being tested before disembarkation in New Orleans.

For the record: Norwegian requires all passengers and crew to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19.

The big picture: Cruise ships were a coronavirus epicenter early in the pandemic, prompting the CDC to impose a no-sail order.

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