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A woman wearing a face mask runs with cruise ships docked in the background due to a no-sail order at the port of Long Beach, California, on April 11, 2020. APU GOMES/AFP via Getty Images

  • More than 12,000 cruise crew members are still aboard ships since the coronavirus halted the industry in March, according to USA TODAY.
  • Many cruise workers are uncertain when they will return home. A Celebrity Cruise stateroom attendant told USA TODAY that he has been on ships for months.
  • The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention extended the no-sail order to the end of September.
  • Visit Insider's homepage for more stories.

More than 12,000 cruise ship crew members are still at sea months after the novel coronavirus pandemic disrupted the industry and halted US cruise lines, USA TODAY reported.

The number is significant but has decreased dramatically from reports in April that up to 80,000 crew members were stuck on 120 cruise ships on US waters as the country saw rapid climbs in outbreaks.

Brittany Panetta, a spokesperson for the US Coast Guard, told the outlet that they are "tracking 57 cruise ships moored, at anchor, or underway in vicinity of a US port, or with potential to arrive in a US port, with approximately 12,084 crew members."

According to the report, the Coast Guard estimated 209 Americans on 37 ships while the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention noted 53 people on 22 cruise ships in the US.

The numbers don't clearly indicate how many of the cruise staff are working or just simply stuck aboard and CDC spokesperson Jason McDonald told USA TODAY that they are unsure about how many workers on these ships are "essential." He also told the outlet that it is not clear if the 53 crew members aboard are working with the "cruise lines to be repatriated."

McDonald told USA TODAY that the need for the workers is up to the cruise lines and that they "must complete response plans and meet certain criteria to determine whether crew members can use commercial or noncommercial transportation."

A crew member of Celebrity Cruises from Mauritius told the outlet that he has been on cruise ships for months and is uncertain when he will be able to return home.

"The more time passes by and the more (stressful) it gets," Akash Dookhun told USA TODAY.

Insider previously reported that the CDC extended its no-sail order through September 30.

"On cruise ships, passengers and crew share spaces that are more crowded than most urban settings," the agency said in the order displayed on its website. "Even when only essential crew are on board, ongoing spread of COVID-19 still occurs."

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Maryland reaches new lows in key COVID-19 metrics, Gov. Hogan announces

Md. Gov Larry Hogan announced an array of upbeat coronavirus metrics on Sunday as the state continues its fight against the virus.

In a news release, Hogan said that the daily and 7-day positivity rate dipped below 2% and 3%, respectively, with hospitalizations falling below 300 and ICU levels dropping below 70 — their lowest levels since March.

The statewide positivity rate has now been under 5% for 87 days, or since June 25, according to the release, with the 7-day positivity rate hitting 2.85% for the first time since the pandemic began.

As it stands now, the release said that 23 of the state’s 24 jurisdictions have a positivity rate lower than 5% — with Cecil County being the lone outlier at 5.19% as of Sunday. Two-thirds of the jurisdictions have a positivity rate below 3.5%.

It is also the first time hospitalizations have been below 300 since March 30, according to the release. They now stand at 281.

The release also said ICU bed usage is currently at 68, the lowest it has been since March 26 — bringing ICU bed usage down 56% since July 25.

The good news comes on the heels of Hogan’s Friday announcement allowing restaurants to increase their indoor dining capacity from 50% to 75%, which goes into effect at 5 p.m. statewide Monday.

Multiple counties have said they will maintain the current 50% cap out of an abundance of caution.

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Looking for more information? D.C., Maryland and Virginia are each releasing more data every day. Visit their official sites here: Virginia | Maryland | District of Columbia

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