SSA Nantucket employee tests positive for COVID-19

The MV Gay Head is being cleaned and sanitized after a Nantucket terminal employee tested positive for COVID-19. – Rich Saltzberg

A Steamship Authority employee at the Nantucket terminal tested positive for COVID-19, according to a press release issued by the SSA.

“The Authority is working closely with public health officials on Nantucket and in Barnstable County to guide its efforts to share information and public health recommendations with passengers and Steamship employees who may have come into contact with the COVID-19-positive employee, who last worked at the terminal on Monday, May 11, 2020,” the release states.

On Friday, after receiving notification the employee was being tested, the SSA did a thorough clean and disinfecting of the Nantucket terminal. “The Steamship Authority is working with its employees at the Nantucket terminal to utilize the drive-through COVID-19 evaluation site at Nantucket Cottage Hospital to determine if any further testing is warranted,” the release states.

The employee is a commuter from the mainland, according to the release. As a result, the SSA has hired Moran Environmental Recovery to perform a deep cleaning of two ferries, the MV Eagle and the MV Gay Head, as they are berthed in Hyannis this evening. “The Authority’s crews already take extra precautionary measures regarding cleaning, and do a thorough job on vessel interiors during and in between trips to disinfect all high-touch areas, including hand railings, tabletops, door handles, seats, faucets, and toilets; the services provided by Moran Environmental will be in addition to the ongoing extraordinary work,” the release states. 

The MV Sankaty is temporarily replacing the MV Eagle to accommodate the cleaning.

“Authority staff are in the process of notifying the crews who were assigned to those vessels, as well as employees in the Hyannis terminal, when the COVID -19-positive employee traveled, to determine if any of them require being placed in quarantine or being tested,” the release states. “Staff are also working to determine if the employee came into contact with any passengers and, if so, to notify those individuals as well.”
SSA general manager Robert Davis praised the employee who tested positive for following the company’s protocols. “Our thoughts and best wishes are with our employee for a speedy and complete recovery,” Davis said in the release.

On May 12, the Woods Hole terminal underwent deep cleaning and sanitizing after an employee reported being tested for COVID-19. In response to an email, SSA spokesman Sean Driscoll told The Times that employee tested negative for COVID-19.