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CDC No Longer Reporting COVID-19 Cases on Cruise Ships to the Public: What You Need to Know

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The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has ended its COVID-19 program for cruise ships.

The CDC announced the end of its program Monday, July 18, on its Cruise Ship Travel webpage, meaning the National Health Agency will no longer report coronavirus levels on commercial cruise ships passing through American waters.

Coronavirus levels on cruise ships were determined using a color-coding system that reflected the number of positive COVID-19 tests among the crew that boarded over a 14-day period.

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The green vessels reportedly met the criteria, which meant that the ships had crew with a negative test result who had not been transferred from the high-risk ship (red), the ground crew had been in quarantine for two weeks after boarding the ship, and the crew sent extended data collection daily. During COVID-19 forms at CDC.

The CDC said cruise lines will adhere to their own testing standards for COVID-19, but the CDC will continue to make testing recommendations. (iStock/iStock)

The yellow ships received their test results within one week and reevaluated the statuses using the updated test results they received while adhering to the CDC Cruise Ship Color Coding Guidelines. If a yellow ship did not return results within one week, the ship was coded as red.

The Orange ships checked the unvaccinated crew weekly and vaccinated the crew every two weeks, while the Red ships checked the crew weekly, regardless of vaccination status, if passengers were on board.

Cruise ships marked in gray have been excluded from the CDC COVID-19 cruise ship program, resulting in the CDC being unable to communicate ship health and safety protocols.

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This color coding system was “dropped” after the CDC ended its COVID-19 program for cruise ships.

The CDC said the program’s color coding is dependent on each cruise line having the same COVID-19 screening testing standards, but those standards may now vary by cruise line.

A female cruise passenger walks out onto a balcony

Cruise passengers will need to contact cruise lines directly if they wish to inquire about the status of the COVID-19 outbreak. (iStock/iStock)

“[The] The CDC is working closely with the cruise industry, state, state, and local health authorities, and federal and seaport partners to provide a safer and healthier environment for cruise passengers and crew,” the health agency wrote of the completion of its program.

“Cruise ships have access to guidance and tools to manage their own COVID-19 mitigation programs,” the CDC continued. “In addition, cruise travelers have access to recommendations that enable them to make informed decisions about traveling on a cruise ship.”

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The CDC noted that it considers cruises an activity that “poses some risk of transmission of COVID-19,” but the agency will continue to publish safety advisories to help cruise ships and passengers.

Travelers who plan to take a cruise will need to contact the cruise line directly to inquire about outbreaks on ships, the CDC said.

Traveler packing mask and hand sanitizer

The CDC continues to recommend that travelers wear masks and hand sanitizers while COVID-19 infection persists. (iStock/iStock)

The CDC noted that it will continue to make testing recommendations for cruise ships.

The health and safety precautions that the CDC continues to recommend to cruise travelers include washing or sanitizing hands frequently, wearing properly fitting masks indoors or in public places, maintaining physical distance from people outside your party, and also getting tested and vaccinated against COVID-19. 19.

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As of Tuesday, July 19, the CDC’s COVID data tracker reports that the U.S. is reporting an average of 122,639 new coronavirus cases daily.

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