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Stranded at sea at Christmas: More than 1,000 Americans are stuck onboard cruise ship as Mexico refuses to allow them to disembark after 21 vaccinated crewmembers test positive for Covid

American passengers banned from disembarking Mexican cruise after 21 crew members get

More than 1,000 American passengers will spend Christmas Day stuck aboard a cruise ship after authorities in the western Mexico state of Jalisco blocked them from disembarking because 21 crew members have tested positive for COVID-19.

The Holland America Line ship sailed off from San Diego on Sunday with stops in the Mexican resort cities of Los Cabos and Mazatlán before it arrived on the coast of Puerto Vallarta on Thursday at approximately 7.30am.

The Jalisco state health department considered allowing each of the 1,035 passengers off the MS Koningsdam, which has at least 873 crew, as long as they turned in proof of negative COVID-19 tests, Mexican news outlet Milenio reported.

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But, officials soon did a u-turn over fears that the outbreak could have spread further than the 21 infected crew members.  

'This option was discarded because the health protocols indicate that no one could disembark when positive cases were registered on the boat, so the decision was finally made not to disembark,' the health department said in a statement.

The decision has frustrated passengers, with one, Paulette Laussane York, snapping a photo of the port city's beach shoreline.

'Puerto Vallarta from our veranda,' she wrote on Facebook. 'Mexican authorities won't let anyone off our cruise ship, Koningsdam. Some crew members (fully vaccinated) tested positive for Covid. Ship is headed back out to sea.' 

Beverly Carver-Percival
Paulette Laussane York

Beverly Carver-Percival (left) and Paulette Laussane York (right) share details of their experience aboard a cruise ship that was turned away from Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, on Thursday when 21 crew members registered positive COVID-19 tests

Paulette Laussane York took to Facebook on Thursday to share a photo of the shore of Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, after health officials there refused to allow 1,035 passengers aboard Holland America Line's MS Koningsdam to disembark because 21 crew members had tested positive for COVID-19. Puerto Vallarta was the third and last stop of the cruise trip that took vacationers from San Diego to Cabo San Lucas and Mazatlán

Paulette Laussane York took to Facebook on Thursday to share a photo of the shore of Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, after health officials there refused to allow 1,035 passengers aboard Holland America Line's MS Koningsdam to disembark because 21 crew members had tested positive for COVID-19. Puerto Vallarta was the third and last stop of the cruise trip that took vacationers from San Diego to Cabo San Lucas and Mazatlán

It comes as the Omicron continues to drive a surge of new COVID cases across the US, with Christmas Eve seeing total infections edge closer to the all-time record.

Figures from Johns Hopkins University published Friday show there were 261,339 new cases in the last 24 hours, up 10 per cent from 238,378 the day before.

The number of deaths caused by the virus have also skyrocketed to 3,354, a 52 per cent increase from 2,204 fatalities on Thursday. That is the highest single-day total since October 13, when 3,054 fatalities were recorded. 
American Omicron infections rose 45 per cent in a day, from 2,625 to 3,286. Those represent a tiny fraction of the true total, because the US only sequences a very small proportion of positive PCR tests to identify which strain caused a person's infection. 
The CDC estimates that at least 73 per cent of all new COVID infections are being caused by Omicron, with that figure as high as 92 per cent in five states including New York and New Jersey
The United States logged a seven-day average coronavirus case count of 168,981 on Wednesday, surpassing a summer peak of over 165,000 infections, according to the Washington Post. While worrying, the figure still falls well short of the 249,000 average hit in January 2020. 
That marks the second largest surge in cases since the pandemic began nearly two years ago as the highly contagious Omicron variant has been detected in all 50 states, as well Washington D.C. and Puerto Rico.
Thousands of Americans have also been forced to spend Christmas alone after airlines across the US canceled more than 600 flights and delayed more nearly 2,500 on Christmas eve due to staffing shortages caused by surge in Omicron infections.

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Comment by John Smith on February 25, 2022 at 1:49am

Another covid effect.. ..

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Comment by Mnyama on December 24, 2021 at 8:51pm
We're STILL in the middle of a pandemic. Stay your azzes at home!

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