M/V Martha’s Vineyard employee tests positive for COVID-19

Posted: January 4, 2021

FALMOUTH, Mass. (January 4, 2021) – A Steamship Authority employee assigned to the M/V Martha’s Vineyard 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 starting on the noon trip from Woods Hole on Tuesday, December 29 2020, and ending with the vessel’s 10:15 a.m. arrival in Vineyard Haven on Wednesday, December 30, 2020. The crew member subsequently felt ill and was tested for COVID-19; after receiving a positive test result, the employee notified the Authority on Monday, January 4, 2021.

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 receiving a negative test result or being cleared to work by a medical professional.

No operational changes or interrupts 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.