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Mobile looking to return of cruises by mid-summer

Carnival Glory Cruise ship, Photo Date: December 2014

The Alabama Cruise Terminal in Mobile has been providing COVID-19 vaccinations rather than trips to the western Caribbean during the pandemic, but that could soon change.

Posted: May 2, 2021 6:45 AM

MOBILE, Ala. (AP) — With demand for COVID-19 vaccinations lagging at an immunization clinic set up at the Alabama Cruise Terminal, an official said the site could shut down soon as the cruise industry prepares to restart.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued guidelines recently that would allow companies that meet certain benchmarks to resume operating around mid-July, and officials are hopeful Carnival Cruise Lines can resume its trips to the western Caribbean from Mobile.

The city's cruise terminal near downtown is currently being used as a mass vaccination site by the Mobile County Health Department, but Health Officer Dr. Bert Eichold told WALA-TV he expects the operation to wrap up in the next couple of weeks.

“The mega-clinic site seems to be decreasing in demand, so we will be out of that facility when the cruise industry starts back,” he said. “It was a great site. The city was a great partner. Good use of space.”

More than 22% of the residents of Mobile County are fully vaccinated, according to CDC statistics. But the county, with about 413,000 residents, also has one of the higher levels of community disease transmission in Alabama, according to the state.

The area tourism agency said cruises account for 35,000 hotel nights and $150 million annually, and the more than yearlong shutdown of the industry has taken a chunk out of the local economy.

“It’s been a big blow. Tourism’s never, ever seen what they’ve seen in terms of disaster in the economy, from travel, or the lack of travel,” said David Clark, chief executive of Visit Mobile.

Mobile Mayor Sandy Stimpson, who has pushed for a resumption of cruising, said he was happy the CDC had provided the industry with a roadmap for resuming business.

“The city of Mobile stands ready for the return of Carnival. All our full-time, part-time and contracted employees who interact with passengers on cruise days have already been vaccinated for COVID-19. Our team is prepared to welcome back cruisers safely and with enthusiasm," he said in a statement.

Alabama is last in the nation in the rate of COVID-19 vaccinations. More than 525,000 people have tested positive for the new coronavirus that causes the illness, and more than 10,800 have died.

Mississippi Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 513622

Reported Deaths: 10264
CountyCasesDeaths
Harrison34892556
DeSoto33234432
Hinds32638641
Jackson24854389
Rankin22507403
Lee16337242
Madison14922283
Jones14113247
Forrest13766259
Lauderdale12270324
Lowndes11305193
Lamar10659140
Pearl River9719244
Lafayette8846143
Hancock7836132
Washington7550169
Oktibbeha7210138
Monroe7010179
Pontotoc6990109
Warren6863178
Panola6759134
Neshoba6730210
Marshall6678141
Bolivar6445151
Union638297
Pike5928156
Alcorn5879107
Lincoln5530136
George510180
Prentiss503884
Tippah491482
Itawamba4844107
Scott477899
Adams4768125
Tate4756116
Leflore4729144
Copiah456495
Yazoo456491
Simpson4546117
Wayne443072
Covington433695
Sunflower4299106
Marion4277112
Coahoma4237109
Leake413990
Newton395781
Tishomingo383593
Grenada3777109
Stone365866
Jasper340666
Attala338290
Winston317892
Chickasaw315467
Clay312278
Clarke301195
Calhoun285049
Holmes271889
Smith269052
Yalobusha243947
Tallahatchie231553
Greene224749
Walthall221666
Lawrence218740
Perry213456
Amite209857
Webster205348
Noxubee188742
Montgomery181657
Carroll174541
Jefferson Davis173643
Tunica163239
Benton152939
Kemper145041
Choctaw136727
Claiborne134338
Humphreys131239
Franklin125529
Quitman107628
Wilkinson105939
Jefferson96934
Sharkey65221
Issaquena1957
Unassigned00

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 845284

Reported Deaths: 16116
CountyCasesDeaths
Jefferson1161552006
Mobile742111380
Madison53307732
Shelby38338368
Baldwin38085589
Tuscaloosa36022641
Montgomery34492781
Lee25562263
Calhoun22586518
Morgan22459406
Etowah20018517
Marshall18782316
Houston17731425
St. Clair16884358
Limestone16148218
Cullman16054303
Elmore15904294
Lauderdale14989306
Talladega14196299
DeKalb12972269
Walker12030380
Blount10717192
Autauga10517157
Jackson10162194
Coffee9417192
Colbert9342208
Dale9020191
Tallapoosa7256201
Russell708165
Chilton7018170
Escambia6957143
Covington6933195
Franklin6342108
Chambers5784142
Marion5406130
Dallas5285209
Pike5119109
Clarke484986
Lawrence4826129
Winston4780110
Geneva4642136
Bibb434094
Barbour369580
Butler3435100
Marengo342493
Monroe337266
Randolph334867
Pickens333188
Fayette330385
Henry320666
Hale318389
Cherokee317863
Crenshaw260477
Washington257052
Cleburne254460
Lamar251453
Clay250869
Macon244864
Conecuh192862
Coosa185047
Lowndes178168
Wilcox177438
Bullock152645
Perry141840
Sumter139241
Greene130245
Choctaw93228
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