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CDC Denies Entry to Cruise Ship Workers During Coronavirus Outbreak

By Orlando Personal Injury Attorney on April 29, 2020

On March 14th, 2020, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued a “no-sail” order for the entire cruise ship industry due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Details from this report indicate concerns from the director of the CDC who “has reason to believe that cruise ship travel may continue to introduce, transmit, or spread COVID-19.” This drastic, but necessary move by government health officials was to be expected – especially if you consider how contagious this deadly disease is, combined with the fact that cruise ships are typically stuffed to the brim with passengers. It was only a matter of time before these luxury liners became breeding grounds for the coronavirus.

It has been almost two months since the novel coronavirus started its world domination, and while a majority of cruise ship passengers have already headed home, the same cannot be said for the staff whose job required them to remain onboard, including those with Holland America’s Oosterdam. According to news reports from a local media outlet, there are over 750 crew members still aboard the Oosterdam, which has been docked at the Port of San Pedro in Los Angeles for weeks after the CDC refused to allow workers to disembark from the infected ship.

For the past forty-five days and counting, workers have been stuck in quarantine, spending twenty-one hours in their 200 sq. foot cabins and only being allowed outside for meals or brief exercising. One Oosterdam crew member in particular, Georgia resident Melinda Mann is understandably frustrated at her current situation, telling Fox10 Phoenix that she had requested an early release from her position in March but was denied. “The government is concerned about coronavirus, but they don’t know if anyone on the ship is even sick because they haven’t been offering testing on the cruise,” she said in a statement to the press. Holland America Cruise Line has since issued a response regarding this matter:

“No crew were permitted to disembark from Oosterdam today. We continue to work with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) to obtain approval to disembark crew in the U.S. for immediate return home under their current No Sail Order which does not allow us to do so at this time, including for U.S. citizens.”


James O. Cunningham

James O. CunninghamSince 1977, personal injury lawyer James Cunningham has provided effective legal advocacy to people who are injured through the negligent actions of another person or entity throughout the Central Florida area. He fights to obtain recoveries for his clients’ physical and emotional pain and suffering and pursues his clients’ personal injury cases with a commitment to excellence and impeccable preparation.

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