Third vessel employee tests positive for COVID-19

Posted: August 31, 2020


(August 31, 2020) – The Woods Hole, Martha’s Vineyard and Nantucket Steamship Authority was informed today that a third member of its vessel crews has tested positive for COVID-19.

The Authority is not disclosing the employee’s name or position within the company to ensure their private health information remains confidential.

The crew member last worked on the M/V Woods Hole on the shift ending with the vessel’s 11:30 a.m. arrival in Hyannis on Friday, August 28, 2020. As reported earlier, another employee who worked the same shift has since tested COVID-19 positive as well; however, it is unknown how or when transmission of the virus occurred.

The M/V Woods Hole was professionally cleaned on Sunday morning, which was in addition to the cleanings done by crew members each night while the vessel is berthed.

At this point, the positive test result will not entail any further changes to the Authority’s schedule, but we do want to share some updated information:

▪     Schedule changes announced Sunday will remain in effect through at least Friday, September 4, 2020. As a reminder, those changes are:

  • The M/V Sankaty will run two round trips per day on the Hyannis-Nantucket route in place of the M/V Woods Hole. The third scheduled round trip, which was slated to leave Hyannis at 5:30 p.m. and leave Nantucket at 8:00 p.m., is canceled.
  • As the M/V Sankaty will be servicing the Nantucket route, all scheduled trips of the M/V Sankaty on the Vineyard route are canceled through Friday.
  • The M/V Woods Hole will continue to service the Vineyard route and run the first four (4) scheduled round trips in place of the M/V Governor starting Tuesday, September 1, 2020. The last three (3) round trips of the day (leaving Woods Hole at 2:50 p.m., 5:20 p.m. and 7:45 p.m. and leaving Vineyard Haven at 4:05 p.m., 6:30 p.m. and 8:45 p.m.) for that vessel are canceled. The M/V Governor will be secured in Woods Hole during this time.

▪     Reservation activity has resumed for trips on August 31, 2020, and September 1, 2020. Reservation activity remains on hold for trips from September 2-8 as staff continue to assess the schedule and any changes that may need to be made.

▪     Approximately thirty (30) Authority employees who may have had contact with a COVID-19 positive crew member were scheduled to be tested for COVID-19 by Cape Cod Healthcare. Results are expected in three to four days. After those results are known, the Authority will make further determinations about the schedules for the remainder of the week.

These changes have been made in the interest of the safety of the Authority’s crews and passengers and due to its reduced manning capabilities.

The Authority continues to take thorough measures to ensure the safety of its employees and the traveling public. Terminal employees and vessel crews thoroughly clean and disinfect all high-touch areas, including hand railings, table tops, door handles, seats, faucets, and toilets, multiple times a day. Additional crews are also assigned to perform cleaning and disinfecting measures on board each vessel overnight.

Employees have been instructed that, under no circumstances, should they come to work while they are sick, 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 frequently and use hand sanitizer. Vessel employees also undergo a health screening by a medical professional prior to each watch.