Passengers say more than 100 people test positive for COVID on cruise ship

Published: May. 4, 2022 at 7:28 PM CDT|Updated: May. 4, 2022 at 9:38 PM CDT
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SEATTLE (KING) – Passengers on a Carnival cruise ship that docked in Seattle on Tuesday say more than 100 people tested positive for COVID-19 on the ship. They also say the outbreak was mishandled.

Darren Sieferston is one passenger who contracted COVID-19 on the trip from Miami to Seattle.

“As soon as I got diagnosed with COVID, I did not feel safe,” he said. “They didn’t have enough staff to handle the emergency that was happening, period.”

Sieferston is currently at a hotel quarantining after he tested positive aboard the ship.

“I’m super tired. I’m a little bit out of breath,” he said.

Sieferston, along with numerous others, tested positive during the 16-day voyage. He said the response from Carnival was chaotic.

“They were overwhelmed, and they didn’t have a backup course in how to handle about 200 people affected with COVID,” he said.

The passengers all waited hours for meals and weren’t properly isolated.

A photo shared by a passenger shows an open door to the quarantine area, and the passengers say they couldn’t get ahold of medical staff.

“We couldn’t call anybody,” Sieferston said. “There was nobody that we could call. We basically sat in the room, you would call and it would ring, ring, ring and ring all day long.”

Sieferston took a picture of a piece of paper including the names of all of those who tested positive. He said it was hung outside the elevator on his floor for all passengers to see.

“It’s just unacceptable. The ship is so poorly managed,” he said. “I’m fearful for the people that are going up to Alaska.”

The ship deboarded Tuesday morning and is already on its next voyage.

Carnival wouldn’t comment if further protection would be taken on this cruise.

“What about the next cruise? What about people that are sick? Something needs to be done, this has to be stopped,” Sieferston said.

According to Carnival, passengers are required to be fully vaccinated against COVID and tested before trips.

The company said the cruise has no serious health issues and it’s splitting some of the hotel quarantine costs with passengers.

“Our protocols are designed to flex up as needed and additional measures were implemented during the voyage, including mask requirements for guests,” Carnival Cruise Line said in a statement. “In addition, all guests who were scheduled to continue on with the ship’s next cruise to Alaska were tested and any guests who tested positive were disembarked. Carnival provided transportation and lodging support for guests who needed to quarantine per CDC guidelines. The ship departed on its next cruise on Tuesday afternoon as scheduled.

“We are committed to protecting the health and safety of our guests, crew and the communities we visit, including preparing the ship for its next voyage with thorough and effective sanitation measures.”

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