Coronavirus outbreak changes the course for Galveston-based cruise

Carnival Cruise Lines "Carnival Freedom" leaves the port in Key West, Florida February 21, 2011. (KAREN BLEIER/AFP via Getty Images)

The COVID-19, also known as Coronavirus, outbreak has forced several companies to make changes, including airlines and cruise ships.

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Carnival Cruise Line is changing the course of its Galveston-based cruise liner from heading to Caribbean destinations and diverting it to Florida.

The Carnival cruise ship Freedom was scheduled to go to Jamaica and Grand Cayman. But the company confirmed on Tuesday that it was now headed to the Key West Naval Yard.


Carnival says the changes are not due to a current health situation aboard its ship.

They released the following statement to FOX 26:

"We are implementing some itinerary changes on voyages scheduled to call on Grand Cayman and Jamaica this week.  A number of Caribbean destinations continue to work through their policies with regards to cruise ship visits.  And while we are following all U.S. CDC and World Health Organization screening protocols and guidelines, we want to avoid any possibility of a visit to a destination where there is uncertainty or we risk being turned away.  

To be clear, there is no health situation on board to trigger this concern, but we are making this change to avoid even the possibility of a disruption.  We understand some guests will be disappointed and trust they will understand that this decision is being made to protect their vacation and maximize their experience with us."

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Carnival's move comes after health officials confirmed a total of six Coronavirus-related deaths in the United States. Plus, new diagnoses in several states pushed the tally of COVID-19 cases past 100.

Currently, there are no confirmed cases in Harris County but officials say they are not taking any chances when it comes to the Coronavirus, so they are preparing to handle it.

RELATED: Officials: No confirmed cases of coronavirus in Harris County