The passengers are gone, but the unvaccinated crew members of a small cruise ship will have to wait out their quarantine in Juneau on board the vessel following positive COVID-19 tests, city officials said.
The ship is scheduled to remain at the downtown cruise ship docks for another seven to eight days, according to Robert Barr, planning section chief of the city’s emergency operations center.
According to a July 9, news release from the City and Borough of Juneau, three people on board American Cruise Lines’ American Constellation tested positive for COVID-19 while the ship was docked in Petersburg. The positive cases and their close contacts remained in Petersburg while the rest of the passengers and crew continued on to Juneau, the city said.
Barr on Monday told the Empire city and state public health officials have worked well with American Cruise Lines and that most of the passengers had departed from the ship. The city is working with the company on ongoing testing for the remaining crew, Barr said.
“They do have good mitigation plans and have been cooperating,” Barr said in a phone interview. “They’ve been working well with us so far. We’re pretty confident in the containment of the situation.”
The ship is to remain in Juneau for 10 days after passengers disembark CBJ said, and city and state health officials are working with American Cruise Lines on a testing plan for the crew members while they quarantine.
All 162 of the ship’s passengers were fully vaccinated, according to the city, and the positive cases onboard were among crew members. American Cruise Lines spokesperson Alexa Paolella said in an email Friday two of the people who tested positive were fully vaccinated, but that out of an abundance of caution the company was canceling its next sailing.
The ship arrived in Auke Bay just after 3 a.m. on July 10, according to Rick Sypeck, operations manager at the Alaska Marine Exchange, and left Monday morning at about 8:30 a.m. Barr said the ship was scheduled to arrive at the downtown dock Monday, but didn’t know its arrival time.
American Cruise Lines did not respond to additional questions Monday, but noted it was cooperating with local health authorities to ensure swift and effective implementation of the company’s response plan.
• Contact reporter Peter Segall at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter at @SegallJnuEmpire.