A Carnival Cruise Lines vessel similar to one due in Juneau following a COVID-19 outbreak aboard steams past Douglas in 2021. (Dana Zigmund / Juneau Empire File)

A Carnival Cruise Lines vessel similar to one due in Juneau following a COVID-19 outbreak aboard steams past Douglas in 2021. (Dana Zigmund / Juneau Empire File)

City contacting ship on way to town following COVID outbreak

The ship, due to arrive here Saturday, experienced an outbreak enroute from Miami to Seattle.

The city is reaching out to a vessel scheduled to arrive in Juneau on Saturday that had an aboard-ship COVID-19 outbreak en route from Miami to Seattle.

The outbreak about the Carnival Spirit was dealt with in-port in Seattle with all infected passengers put ashore, said a Carnival Cruise Lines representative, but concerns remain.

“We’re working on getting in contact with this particular ship,” said Juneau deputy city manager Robert Barr in an email.

[Senate votes to increase PCE payments]

Any decision involving denying the vessel to moor in Juneau would be made in consultation with other agencies, including the Alaska Department of Health and Social Services, Barr said. The Carnival Spirit, which has capacity for 2,124 guests listed, is due to make port in Juneau on the morning of May 7.

“The Carnival Spirit team managed a number of COVID cases during its Panama Canal journey that departed Miami on April 17 and arrived in Seattle on May 3. There were no serious health issues, and while some guests showed minor symptoms, most were asymptomatic,” said Matt Lupoli, a senior public relations manager for Carnival Cruise Lines, in an email. “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.”

Lupoli did not provide an exact number of COVID-19 cases on board.

There are agreements in places with the cruise lines in the case of a COVID-19 outbreak aboard, Barr said. In some cases, in-port organizations may assist the cruise ship with assisting the infected, Barr said.

“In the port agreements we have with each major cruise ship line, the lines commit to having sufficient medical capacity and quarantine/isolation space to care for passengers and crew,” Barr said. “That said, within Southeast, Ketchikan and Juneau are the two potential locations where some shore side services could be provided, if we have capacity. Other ports in the Southeast are generally too small to have capacity.”

That agreement extends to transporting passengers to larger care centers if onboard capacity is swamped and shoreside medical capability is insufficient, Barr said.

“In the event onboard capacity is insufficient and any support we or (Ketchikan) are able to provide does not meet the need, the lines all agree to transport passengers/crew back to Seattle for care,” Barr said.

Juneau is seeing a slight uptick in COVID-19 numbers but there’s insufficient data to point to a cause at this time, Barr said.

“There are too many variables at this point in the pandemic. That said, if we have had transmission locally specifically from cruise ships, it’s too early for those cases to be showing up in the data. Next week at the earliest,” Barr said. “In general most of our case activity starts with a travel or community spread based case that then brings it back to their living situation and we see a handful of secondary (family members) test positive from there.”

• Contact reporter Michael S. Lockett at (757) 621-1197 or mlockett@juneauempire.com.

More in News

Central Emergency Services staff wait to receive doses of Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine on Friday, Dec. 18, 2020 in Soldotna, Alaska. (Ashlyn O’Hara/Peninsula Clarion)
Soldotna, borough to continue 911 dispatch partnership

The assembly approved an agreement Tuesday

Alaska State Troopers logo.
ATV accident leaves teen dead in Ninilchik

A 15-year-old girl was driving an ATV with a 14-year-old female passenger

Cook Inlet can be seen at low tide from North Kenai Beach on June 15, 2022, in Kenai, Alaska. (Photo by Erin Thompson/Peninsula Clarion)
Comment period on proposed Cook Inlet lease sale opens Friday

Cook Inlet is one of 11 locations described in the department’s Proposed Program for the National Outer Continental Shelf Oil and Gas Leasing Program

Pottery pieces are displayed as a part of the Kenai Potters’ Guild July show at the Kenai Art Center on Tuesday, July 5, 2022. (Camille Botello/Peninsula Clarion)
Throwing together

Potters’ Guild artists show off their clay creations

Ben Hohenstatt / Juneau Empire
This photo shows boats moored at Don D. Statter Harbor on a recent sunny day. According to statistics recently release by the U.S. Coast Guard, boating accidents were down in Alaska in 2021.
Boating fatalities trending down for 2021

Numbers met expectations, said safety instructors

Fishermen took to the mouth of the Kasilof River for opening day of dipnetting, on Tuesday, June 25, 2019, in Kasilof, Alaska. (Photo by Victoria Petersen/Peninsula Clarion file)
Kasilof dipnetting expanded, sockeye catch upped

The Alaska Department of Fish and Game issued multiple advisory announcements for sport anglers and dipnetters

Signs warn Fred Meyer customers to prepay if they thing they may go over limits while pumping gas on Friday, March 11, 2022 in Soldotna, Alaska. (Ashlyn O’Hara/Peninsula Clarion)
Analysis: Inflation is up in Alaska

Alaska’s 2021 average inflation rate was the largest annual price increase since 1990

Mount Redoubt can be seen acoss Cook Inlet from North Kenai Beach on Thursday, July 2, 2022. (Photo by Erin Thompson/Peninsula Clarion)
Offshore oil plan envisions a single Cook Inlet sale

The proposed 2023-2028 plan is similar to the just-ended Obama administration five-year plan

People line the streets in downtown Kenai, Alaska on Monday, July 4, 2022 for the annual Independence Day parade. (Camille Botello/Peninsula Clarion)
Red, white and blue all day

Kenai turns out for parade, activities to celebrate Independence Day

Most Read