M/V Island Home crew member tests positive for COVID-19

Posted: January 11, 2021

     

FALMOUTH, Mass. (January 11, 2021) – A Steamship Authority employee assigned to the M/V Island Home 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 1:15 p.m. trip from Woods Hole on Wednesday, January 6, 2021, and ending with the vessel’s 12:45 p.m. arrival in Woods Hole on Thursday, January 7, 2021. The crewmember subsequently felt ill and received a rapid test for COVID-19 on Monday, January 11, 2021; after receiving the positive test result, the employee immediately notified the Authority.

The Barnstable County Department of Health and Environment and Cape Cod Healthcare have agreed to arrange for COVID-19 testing for those vessel employees who have been identified as being in close contact with the affected employee. Those employees will not be allowed to return to work until after a negative test result is received or are cleared to work by a medical professional.

“Having the Barnstable County Department of Health and Environment and Cape Cod Healthcare as partners has been key to our efforts to keep our crews and passengers safe since the onset of the pandemic,” General Manager Robert B. Davis said. “They are true assets to the Steamship Authority and the entire community.”

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.

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