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At least 4 Royal Caribbean crew members test positive for COVID-19, Galveston Health Authority says

Galveston County health officials said at least four crew members aboard Royal Caribbean’s Independence of the Seas have tested positive for COVID-19.
Credit: KHOU

GALVESTON, Texas — Galveston County’s Health Authority said at least four crew members aboard Royal Caribbean’s Independence of the Seas tested positive for COVID-19.

Dr. Philip Keiser said the ship was docked at the Port of Galveston and is set to go on a test sail on Aug. 1. While it wasn't there on Wednesday afternoon, officials said the boat was going to return on Thursday and it's common for the ships to go out to sea to conduct tests and practice for full cruises.

Keiser said he doesn’t know if the four individuals were vaccinated. He said they’re asymptomatic and are quarantined along with more than a dozen other crew members on the ship.

Keiser said Carnival, which recently had two boats leave the port, didn’t have to do test cruises because 95% of the crew and passengers were required to be vaccinated.

“Now, Royal Caribbean has vaccinated a large portion of people on their ship and they’ve also are asking passengers, but they’re not putting up that barrier: you must be vaccinated to get on,” Keiser said.

He said as long as they remain on board, they’re under the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's jurisdiction.

Independence of the Seas officially sets sail with passengers on Aug. 15.