Statsraad Lehmkuhl is Covid free
All the Covid-infected are well and out of insulation, and the crew look forward to celebrating New Year together.
December 30, Captain Marc Seidl at Statsraad Lehmkuhl received good news.
– See attached for the 12 crew tested yesterday. All were NEGATIVE, read the email from the laboratory.
The entire crew has been tested regularly for covid since the first case emerged. The ship has been divided into two zones. The sick have been in isolation in the foreship, the healthy have lived in the stern.
Now the whole crew can celebrate New Year together.
– Those who tested positive on December 23 can be released from isolation late today, and late tomorrow for those who tested positive on December 24, Seidl wrote in an email to director Haakon Vatle of the Statsraad Lehmkuhl foundation on December 30.
– This is the best news so far this Christmas, Vatle smiles.
The crew members staying in hotels ashore can now move back on the ship, after taking a negative PCR test.
Vatle does not lower his shoulders completely.
– We keep the ship closed until departure, and especially those who come out of isolation must keep extra distance and be extra careful with face masks and disinfection in the coming days, he writes in his answer to Captain Seidl.
Came on board in Miami
The infection came on board in Miami. A member of the crew who mustered there was infected without knowing it.
The infected person was tested before the flight to Miami, at the gangway before being allowed to board, and again after three days at sea.
– All the tests were negative, Vatle said.
The voyage up to New York was speedy, and the ship dropped anchor close to the Statue of Liberty on December 17, a day before the planned arrival.
The next morning, the crew member contacted the ship's doctor with a severe cold. A rapid test was performed and indicated Covid-19, and a PCR sample was taken. It too was positive.
– The patient did everything correctly, and asked to be tested when the symptoms appeared. Depending on the circumstances, the patient's health is good, said ship doctor Roald Havre.
There were then a total of 94 people on board. All were tested continuously, and no more were positive.
– We have good routines for testing and have practiced this along the way. All were tested in a short time, Havre said.
The ship was allowed to dock at Brooklyn Bridge Marina on December 19, and Vatle was satisfied.
– The infected person will be kept in solitary confinement until the person has recovered. The ship and other crew receive no further restrictions as we moore, this applies to both those who muster off and muster on. The program on board Statsraad Lehmkuhl will continue as normal from Monday December 20, Vatle continued optimistically.
December 25, it turned out that the tests had not been completely reliable.
– Eight of the crew are now infected, Vatle told Bergens Tidende.
The ship was divided in two, with those infected in isolation in front of the ship.
On December 26, the number of infected had increased to ten.
– Two more have tested positive on quick tests. All has mild symptoms, and according to Captain Seidl, the atmosphere on board is good, Vatle said.
The infections happened at a lucky time. There are only crew on board, and apart from some guided tours, the ship does not have any official duties before leaving New York on January 4.
No new infected
On December 29, Vatle receives good news from the ship. No new infections, and those who first became ill are starting to recover.
– We will continue to test regularly in the days ahead, but the situation seems to be brightening, Vatle said.
The atmosphere was still good on board, both among the healthy and the sick. Traditional Christmas food for everyone, complemented by real American pizza delivered on board.
Across the sea again
The ship will be moved from New York Harbor to Newport on January 4th, and prepared for the voyage across the Atlantic.
On this leg, cadets from the Naval Academy will be on board. They muster on January 6, and on January 8 the course is set for Horta in the Azores.