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Combatting COVID on Cruise Lines

7/30/21—As some look to resume pre-COVID travel and vacation plans, the cruise industry is doing everything it can to regain lost footing during the pandemic. Among the first cruise ships to return to service, the Celebrity Millennium boasts $500 million in upgrades, including redesigned rooms and air filters. Noted for exceeding CDC guidelines, the cruise sailed with fully vaccinated crew and guests, requiring both proof of vaccination for all age 12 and above, and a negative COVID test within 72 hours before sailing. Even with such extensive preventative measures in place, this fully vaccinated cruise reported 2 passengers testing positive for COVID-19. Both experienced asymptomatic infection, and were sharing a stateroom.  

“This situation demonstrates that our rigorous health and safety protocols work to protect our crew, guests and the communities we visit,” a spokesperson for Celebrity noted. 

The CDC notes that due to the close-contact environment involved with cruising, and with the asymptomatic and pre-symptomatic transmission COVID is prone to, it is crucial that close contacts of positive cases be tested and identified rapidly. In the case of the Celebrity Millennium, contact tracing enabled the ability to ensure that all those at risk would be able to access expedited testing to mitigate spread.  

Contact tracing “is the best tool we have to manage this in an ongoing way and allow our economy to open up again,” said Crystal Watson, senior scholar with the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security.  

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), digital tools can help augment and enhance manual contact tracing, noting additionally that issues surrounding accessibility, privacy, and security must be fully considered when implementing any system.  

Providing the highest level of privacy and data security, AlertTrace utilizes real-time data analytics to drive IoT-enabled solutions that increase health and safety. With optional features to remind users of social distancing, AlertTrace wearables provide leadership the contact tracing data they need to safeguard lives and livelihoods. User locations are never tracked or recorded in any way, as there is no location software in AlertTrace devices. A true plug-and-play solution for adoption, no infrastructure is required, and the system is designed to be deployed at a scale of thousands within a few hours. 

The CDC requires that cruise ship operators must not only maintain records of any identified close contacts of COVID-19 cases, but be prepared to submit them upon request.  With reliable data available to administrators via the remote AlertTrace Dashboard, leadership can quickly and easily identify close contacts, and have accurate information available to meet record keeping requirements.  

The use of wearable technology is noted by the CDC as best practice to further reduce the spread of SARS-CoV-2 in a shipboard environment. As many industries look to mitigate the physical, psychological, and financial effects of the pandemic, AlertTrace clients have noted that not only does the system enable them to continue operations, but provides peace of mind to their employees and clients. The ability to reassure those unexposed based on concrete data, and the capacity to rapidly stem spread through digital contact tracing, provides a sense of security and encourages productivity in the workplace.  

Contact us today to learn how AlertTrace can provide the safest environment for your workforce and clients.