Successful Control of an Onboard COVID-19 Outbreak Using the Cruise Ship as a Quarantine Facility, Western Australia, Australia
Emerg Infect Dis
Onboard quarantining has been only partially effective to control outbreaks of coronavirus disease on cruise ships. We describe the successful use of the ship as a quarantine facility during the response to the outbreak on the MS Artania, which docked in Western Australia, Australia. The health-led 14-day quarantine regime was based on established principles of outbreak management and experiences of coronavirus disease outbreaks on cruise ships elsewhere. The attack rate in the crew was 3.3% (28/832) before quarantine commencement and 4.8% (21/441) during quarantine on board. No crew members became symptomatic after completion of quarantine. Infection surveillance involved telephone correspondence, face-to-face visits, and testing for severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2. No serious health issues were reported, no response staff became infected, and only 1 quarantine breach occurred among crew. Onboard quarantine could offer financial and operational advantages in outbreak response and provide reassurance to the shore-based wider community regarding risk for infection.