Two Nantucket terminal employees test positive for COVID-19

Posted: August 12, 2020


FALMOUTH, Mass. (August 12, 2020) – Two Steamship Authority employees assigned to the Nantucket terminal have tested positive for COVID-19 in recent days, and the Authority has taken preventative steps to ensure the safety of the public and its employees.

The timeframe associated with the first employee’s test results (“Employee A”) makes any potential risk of exposure to the public or other Authority employees extremely low, as the employee had not been to work for more than a week prior to being tested. Regarding the second employee (“Employee B”), the Authority is working closely with public health officials on Nantucket to guide its efforts to share information and public health recommendations with passengers and Steamship employees who may have come into contact with Employee B.

The Authority is not disclosing the employees’ names or positions within the company to ensure their private health information remains confidential.

Employee B last worked at the terminal on Wednesday, August 5, 2020, and was in a position to come into contact with the public. However, precautionary measures have long been in place at the terminal, including tempered glass installed at the ticket counters, the usage of cloth face coverings by all employees, and social distance markers set up in the terminal and passenger queuing areas to minimize the risk of transmission.

The Steamship Authority was notified by Employee B of the positive test result on Wednesday, August 12, 2020. Employee A notified the Authority of their positive test result on Friday, August 7, 2020, the same day Employee B made the Authority aware of their potential exposure. At that time, Authority staff used an electrostatic sprayer that dispenses hospital-grade disinfectants to clean not only the Nantucket terminal but the M/V Iyanough and M/V Eagle, both vessels on which at least one of the employees had recently traveled.

The cleanings were in addition to the precautionary measures already taken daily by the Authority’s terminal employees and vessel crews to thoroughly clean and disinfect all high-touch areas, including hand railings, table tops, door handles, seats, faucets, and toilets.

The Steamship Authority is working with its employees at the Nantucket terminal to utilize the drive-through COVID-19 evaluation site at Nantucket Cottage Hospital to determine if any further testing is warranted.

General Manager Robert B. Davis extended his gratitude to both employees for closely adhering to the company’s protocols so appropriate action could be taken. As a reminder, employees have been instructed that, under no circumstances, should they come to work while they are sick, or have had close contact with or cared for a person infected with COVID-19, both for their safety as well as the safety of the crew and traveling public. Additionally, employees have been instructed to wear cloth face coverings, to wash their hands or use hand sanitizer frequently, and maintain sufficient social distances whenever possible.

“We hope both of our employees experience full and quick recoveries,” Davis said.