• The ships being investigated included those from the cruise lines Disney, MSC Cruises, Carnival and Royal Caribbean
  • The CDC is currently investigating 36 ships
  • An additional 32 vessels have been investigated and remain under observation

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is investigating nearly 70 cruise ships following COVID-19 outbreaks aboard the vessels.

A total of 68 cruise ships were given a yellow classification under the CDC's color-coded testing status, which meant they either entered an investigation threshold for coronavirus cases, failed to submit at least one daily Enhanced Data Collection form or had a passenger who tested positive for the virus within five days of disembarking that was reported to the state or local health department, the agency said on its website.

The ships being investigated or observed included vessels from the cruise lines Disney, MSC Cruises, Carnival, Norwegian, Royal Caribbean and Celebrity, according to the CDC's data that was last updated Monday.

The CDC is currently investigating 36 ships, while the other 32 have been investigated and remain under observation.

Cruise ships are given a yellow status when 0.10% of their passengers become a COVID-19 or COVID-19–like (CLI) case in the past seven days. Vessels that carry no passengers have a 1% threshold for their crew.

Seven more cruise ships are being monitored by the CDC after the vessels were given an orange classification, which meant they reported a COVID-19 or CLI case among passengers or crew members, but the numbers did not meet the yellow status threshold.

Another 33 ships that did not report any COVID-19 cases received a green classification from the CDC.

No ships were given a red or gray status. The former is given to ships that meet or exceed the CDC's investigation threshold and would receive "additional public health measures," while the latter is for ships that had not been reviewed or did not have their health and safety protocols confirmed.

All the ships listed by the CDC "are operating under health and safety protocols that align with CDC’s standards for protecting passengers, crew, port personnel and communities by mitigating the public health risks posed by COVID-19," according to the agency.

A spokesperson for Carnival said in a statement to Insider that the CDC has been "fully informed and supportive of its protocols and operational plans."

MSC Cruises, meanwhile, said it has accommodated over 1 million passengers with its health protocols, including a COVID-19 vaccine mandate.

The list of flagged vessels came after several cruise ships reported positive COVID-19 cases among passengers within the past two weeks. Among them were Royal Caribbean's Symphony of the Seas and Odyssey of the Seas ships, which reported 48 and 55 COVID-19 cases, respectively, among their most recent voyages' passengers.

Shares for Carnival were trading down 1.9% Monday afternoon, while Royal Caribbean shares dipped by 2.3% in the same period, the New York Post reported.

The U.S. has reported a total of 52,776,066 COVID-19 cases and 818,367 deaths as of Monday, according to data provided by Johns Hopkins University.

US authorities are monitoring several dozen cruise ships sailing in US waters after positive Covid-19 cases were reported on board
US authorities are monitoring several dozen cruise ships sailing in US waters after positive Covid-19 cases were reported on board AFP / Sebastien SALOM-GOMIS