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COVID-19 Passenger Outbreaks Take Place On Two International Cruise Lines
Quantum of the Seas Passenger Is Negative for COVID-19, Singapore Ship Reported False Positive
Quantum of the Seas

Quantum of the Seas Passenger Is Negative for COVID-19, Singapore Ship Reported False Positive

Quantum of the Seas Passenger Is Negative for COVID-19, Singapore Ship Reported False Positive
Quantum of the Seas

December 10, 2020

Chris Gray Faust
Managing Editor
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(12:18 p.m. EST) -- False alarm: the passenger on Quantum of the Seas who had tested positive for COVID-19 onboard does not have the virus, and cruisers on the Singapore-based ship that had been noted as close contacts have been released from quarantine.The Singapore Ministry of Health confirmed the news on its

website

:"A final confirmatory test conducted by the National Public Health Laboratory (NPHL) on 10 December 2020 has confirmed that the 83 year-old male Singaporean on board Royal Caribbean International's Quantum of the Seas does not have COVID-19 infection."The sample taken from the individual this morning came back negative for the virus. This follows two Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) tests conducted yesterday by NPHL, one on a re-test of his original sample, and the other on a fresh sample taken yesterday, which had also come back negative."We have rescinded the Quarantine Orders of his close contacts, who had earlier been placed on quarantine as a precautionary measure while investigations were ongoing. MOH will support the laboratory on board the Quantum of the Seas in its review of its testing processes."The next sailing of Quantum of the Seas is going to take place today,

according to news reports from Singapore

. The ship is sailing three- and four-day itineraries with no port stops; the cruises are only open to Singapore residents who must have a COVID-19 negative test to board.{#widget:image|decorators:article_image|image:8989|title: Quantum of the Seas PoolDeckF|description:(Photo: Royal Caribbean)#}Royal Caribbean released the following statement:"We welcome this news and we wish our guest a speedy return to health."We appreciate the guidance of the government and we will continue to work with them to refine our protocols, which are designed to protect the health and safety of our guests, crew and the Singapore community."That the test on the December 7 sailing, the ship's third cruise back, was a false positive is good news for the industry, which had seen Royal Caribbean's return in Singapore as a textbook example of a good post-pandemic partnership between the cruise line and the local government.Singapore has a very low COVID-19 rate, with no new rates of local transmission (those cases that do arise are generally from foreign visitors, who are placed into quarantine). The government has an excellent contact tracing program that all residents are required to participate in, even when they are on the cruise ship.To resume service on December 1, Royal Caribbean put together a robust array of health and safety protocols that included two other layers of contact tracing – through a wearable Tracelet and by tapping key cards in venues – social distancing, masking and air ventilation improvements.Capacity on Quantum of the Seas had been reduced dramatically -- on the sailing that was cut short, there were only 1,680 passengers on a ship that can carry 4,905 passengers at double occupancy.While the false positive scare on the ship was certainly a blow to guests who had their sailing canceled, what seemed to work well were the layers of contract tracing. People who had been in close contact with the sick passenger were notified, isolated and tested. When the ship returned to Singapore, only those people were put into quarantine, while the rest of the passengers were free to go home after taking a rapid antigen COVID-19 test in the terminal.Cruise Critic had a freelance writer onboard the canceled sailing who will be writing a wrap-up from the cruise. We also had a Cruise Critic member on Quantum of the Seas' first sailing back who documented all the changes.

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