There have been at least 3,689 COVID-19 or coronavirus-like illness cases on cruise ships in U.S. waters, "in addition to at least 41 reported deaths," the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said late Wednesday.
Driving the news: The CDC released the data from the period of March 1 through Sept. 29 in an emailed statement confirming the extension of a No Sail Order for cruise ships through Oct. 31, as first reported by Axios' Jonathan Swan on Tuesday in his article revealing CDC director Robert Redfield was overruled in a push to extend the order into 2021.
- The figures are the result of cumulative surveillance data reported to the CDC and are "likely incomplete and an underestimate," the CDC said.
What else they're saying: "Recent outbreaks on cruise ships overseas provide current evidence that cruise ship travel continues to transmit and amplify the spread of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19 — even when ships sail at reduced passenger capacities — and would likely spread the infection into U.S. communities if passenger operations were to resume prematurely in the United States," the CDC said in its statement.
- "Recent passenger voyages in foreign countries continue to have outbreaks, despite cruise ship operators having extensive health and safety protocols to prevent the transmission of SARS-CoV-2 on board and spread to communities where passengers disembark.
Of note: The new no-sail end date matches the endpoint of the cruise industry's self-imposed ban.
- Cruise Lines International Association's Bari Golin-Blaugrund said in a statement to USA Today the organization, which represents 95% of all ocean cruise liners, is "confident in the industry’s ability to resume operations from U.S. ports in a responsible, phased-in manner."
Go deeper: CDC director overruled on cruise ship ban