The USA's CDC agency (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) on Monday, December 27, said it was actively investigating or observing 68 cruise ships following COVID outbreaks onboard.
The Omicron variant drove up infections across the USA, upending holiday plans and disrupting travel. The strain is the latest sign of the crisis' hold on the cruise industry.
The cruising industry, which was an early epicenter for COVID outbreaks, staged a comeback in September 2021, with a number of preventative measures in place to curb the spread of the Coronavirus.
The CDC is now investigating 36 cruise vessels and has already investigated 32 additional ships, which remain "under observation," according to the update.
The affected companies include CCL-Carnival, DCL-Disney, NCL-Norwegian, and RCI-Royal Caribbean.
An additional 7 ships are being monitored by the CDC due to reported COVID infections, though their numbers are below the 1% threshold to start an investigation (cases reported in over 0.10% of guests or a single crew in the previous 7 days).