The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has announced an extension of a no-sail order for all cruise ships as COVID-19 cases are peaking in many states.

The order, issued on March 14 and was scheduled to expire July 24, will be in place through late September, CDC said in a statement Thursday, July 16.

CDC Director Dr. Robert Redfield said the decision was made as part of the United States’ efforts to halt the spread of the coronavirus, adding that the cruise industry hasn’t taken adequate measures to control the transmission of the virus on its ships. The restriction is for ships with a capacity to carry 250 or more passengers.

“The measures we are taking today to stop the spread of COVID-19 are necessary to protect Americans, and we will continue to provide critical public health guidance to the industry to limit the impacts of COVID-19 on its workforce throughout the remainder of this pandemic,” Redfield said.

The agency said there are several public health concerns if a crew member becomes ill while onboard, adding that safely evacuating, triaging, and repatriating cruise ship crew amid pandemic could incur huge financial costs for the government, driving resources away from larger efforts to handle the U.S. pandemic situation.

In mid-June, the Cruise Lines International Association (CILA), which represents major cruise lines across the world, had voluntarily canceled their operations out of U.S. ports until Sep. 15 amid ongoing discussions with the federal authorities over how to restart operations safely.

The CDC said nearly 3,000 cases of COVID-19 or similar illness and 34 deaths were reported on cruise ships from March 1 to July 10, the Associated Press reported. As many as 99 outbreaks covering 80% of the ships operating in U.S. waters were reported, with nine of the ships still dealing with the outbreak.

As many as 40 U.S. states recorded a high number of coronavirus infections this month, with the daily death toll climbing more than 20% from last week. Florida, where many cruise ships begin and end, has reported nearly 14,000 new virus cases Thursday, July 16, with a single-day record of 156 deaths.

The Seabourn Odyssey is one of many cruise ships stuck at sea with crew aboard
The Seabourn Odyssey is one of many cruise ships stuck at sea with crew aboard RYAN DRISCOLL / -