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Royal Caribbean delays cruise ship after 8 crew members test positive for Covid

Odyssey of the Seas' inaugural sailing, originally scheduled for July 3, is now set for July 31.
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Royal Caribbean International is delaying the inaugural sailing of its Odyssey of the Seas cruise ship after eight crew members tested positive for Covid-19, officials said Tuesday.

"During routine testing, eight crew members received a positive test result for Covid-19," company CEO Michael Bayley said in a statement. "All 1,400 crew onboard Odyssey of the Seas were vaccinated on June 4th and will be considered fully vaccinated on June 18."

Out of the eight cases, six people were asymptomatic and two had mild symptoms, he said. All who tested positive for Covid-19, as well as hundreds of other crew members, are under quarantine and being monitored by a medical team.

Odyssey of the Seas' inaugural sailing, originally scheduled for July 3, is now set for July 31.

"While disappointing, this is the right decision for the health and well-being of our crew and guests," Bayley added.

The announcement came less than a week after two passengers tested positive for Covid-19 on Celebrity Millennium, another subsidiary owned by the Royal Caribbean Group.

The guests were asymptomatic and isolated as the two were being monitored by a medical team, the cruise line company said.

All guests were required to show a negative Covid-19 test and proof of vaccination 72 hours before its departure.

People who have tested positive for Covid-19 after being fully vaccinated, or breakthrough infections, are rare, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Of the more than 130 million people in the United States who have been fully vaccinated against Covid-19, there have been reports of at least 10,262 breakthrough infections, the CDC said last month. Many who tested positive after being fully vaccinated were asymptomatic.

The CDC gave the go-ahead to begin work toward restarting cruises last month for the first time in over a year after the massive ships became some of the first superspreader locations for the coronavirus.