Vessel employee assigned to M/V Katama tests positive for COVID-19

Posted: December 1, 2020

FALMOUTH, Mass. (December 1, 2020) – A Steamship Authority employee assigned to the M/V Katama has tested positive for COVID-19, the Authority was informed today. As a result, the Authority is taking additional preventative steps to ensure the safety of the public and its employees.

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

The employee last worked on the vessel on the watch that began with the 11:05 a.m. trip on Sunday, November 29, 2020, and ended with the vessel’s 10:35 a.m. arrival in Woods Hole on Monday, November 30, 2020. The employee subsequently developed symptoms of COVID-19 and obtained a “rapid test” on Tuesday, December 1, 2020. The results of the test were positive, and the employee immediately notified the Authority.

Due to their typical work duties, the employee was unlikely to have any prolonged exposure with any member of the public during their work hours. The Authority has notified vessel employees who were in close contact with the affected employee. Those employees will not be allowed to return to work until after they receive a negative test result or are cleared to work by a medical professional.

No operational changes or interruptions are anticipated as a result of this incident.

Every night, Steamship Authority personnel use hospital-grade disinfectants on board all vessels to perform a cleaning of both public and employee areas. The cleaning is part of the precautionary measures 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. In addition, crews are assigned nightly to perform cleaning and disinfectant measures onboard the vessels.

Employees have been instructed that, under no circumstances, should they come to work while they are sick, both for their safety as well as for 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.