Woods Hole terminal employee tests positive for COVID-19

Posted: March 30, 2021

FALMOUTH, Mass. (March 30, 2021) – A Woods Hole, Martha’s Vineyard and Nantucket Steamship Authority employee assigned to the Woods Hole terminal 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. No operational changes or interruptions are anticipated because of this report.

The terminal employee last worked a full shift in Woods Hole on Friday, March 26, 2021. The employee reported to work on Tuesday, March 30, 2021, and passed the mandatory health-screening questionnaire given to all shoreside employees prior to their shift. However, the employee subsequently felt ill, immediately left work and received a rapid test for COVID-19. After receiving the positive result, the employee promptly notified the Authority.

Employees who were identified as being in close contact with the individual have been notified and will not be allowed to return to work until after a negative test result is received or until they are cleared to work by a medical professional.

Due to their typical work duties, the terminal employee was unlikely to have any prolonged exposure with the public during their work hours.

Every night, Steamship Authority personnel use hospital-grade disinfectants on board all vessels and at its terminals 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. Employees also have been instructed to wear cloth face coverings, to wash their hands frequently and use hand sanitizer. Vessel employees are also screened by a medical professional prior to each watch, and shoreside personnel fill out a medical questionnaire prior to their work day.