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1 probable omicron, 16 COVID cases reported on Norwegian cruise ship docked in New Orleans


Seventeen COVID-19 cases, including one probable case of the omicron variant, were reported among crew and passengers on a Norwegian Cruise Line ship, which arrived in New Orleans Sunday.

Among those infected were nine crew members and eight passengers.

Infected guests were instructed to drive home after docking or “self-isolate in accommodations provided by the company,” according to a press release.

The crew member infected with the possible omicron case remains onboard in isolation, according to a state health department spokesperson.

The Norwegian Breakaway departed New Orleans with about 3,200 passengers on Nov. 28 and made stops in Belize, Honduras and Mexico before returning to the Crescent City this weekend.

Norwegian Cruise Line said it is testing all passengers prior to disembarkation and after possible exposure to infected individuals.

The CDC issued a no-sail order in March 2020 because of the COVID-19 pandemic, and Norwegian resumed its operations just a few weeks ago on Nov. 21. The Breakaway was Norwegian’s first vessel to return to the Port of New Orleans.

The state health department confirmed the state’s first probable case of the omicron variant Sunday. The infected person, who lives in the New Orleans area, was identified as having a probable case Friday evening.

Aubry is a reporter, producer and operations assistant in Baton Rouge.

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