Yesterday, April 7, 2020, ambulances transported four crew members, who are ill with coronavirus, from the Oasis of the Seas.
The Royal Caribbean ship called for medical evacuation of these sick crew members at the port of Miami. The four ambulances took the crew members to a hospital in Broward County.
According to the Miami Herald, five Oasis of the Seas crew members with COVID-19 symptoms were evacuated at Port Everglades last week. Two crew members with COVID-19 symptoms on the Royal Caribbean ship were evacuated at Port Everglades on Sunday.
The ship has been around South Florida since offloading its last passengers at PortMiami on March 15th. The Miami Herald reported that at least 14 crew members on board have tested positive for COVID-19. The crew members evacuated Sunday are the fourth and fifth to leave the ship for medical treatment.
On March 30th, a Oasis of the Seas crew member and a Symphony of the Seas crew member were evacuated with respiratory problems. On April 2nd, two more Oasis crew members were evacuated to Broward Health hospitals, as reported by the Miami Herald.
The medical evacuations yesterday bring the total to nine transfers of ship employees from the Oasis of the Seas alone in the last two weeks.
A crew member on the Symphony of the Seas who wishes to remain anonymous informed me yesterday that there are thirty-one crew members aboard the ship who are ill with coronavirus, including two ship nurses who are sick from the virus. Thirty-five food and beverage personnel (cooks and waiters) were recently quarantined, including one of the crew members who previously provided the crew with cutlery at the crew mess.
The crew member stated that masks have not been provided to all crew embers. Those who receive masks are told to wash them. The crew member stated that he is frightened he may be infected.
According to the Miami Herald, there are more than 35 cruise ships with 35,000 crew members aboard are at port or in waters around Florida. The Coast Guard is urging cruise companies to bulk up their medical capabilities in order not to overwhelm medical facilities on land.
In the last two days, we reported that there are at least thirty-eight crew members with COVID-19 on the Disney Wonder which is in port in San Diego.
Cruise lines are legally obligated to provide prompt and adequate medical treatment under the Jones Act and the maintenance and cure doctrine to the point that the crew members reaches the point of maximum medical cure.
It is inevitable that the employees on these dozens of ships around Florida and other states will require medical treatment ashore. First responders will continue to be called on to assist these employees.
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April 10, 2020 Update:
An article today states that two additional Royal Caribbean crew members from the Oasis of the Seas were evacuated today due to COVID19. The article misstates that a total of 7 crew members have been evacuated over the past two weeks; however, the newspaper omitted the four crew members mentioned above. The correct number of ill crew members is actually 11 with COVID19 from the Oasis of the Seas during this period of time.
The newspaper also states that: “an Oasis of the Seas crew member who requested anonymity for fear of retaliation said the captain made an announcement on the loudspeaker asking crew not to film the ambulances taking their coworkers away.”
Photo credits: Anonymous