The Steamship Authority is closing its Oak Bluffs terminal to the public immediately after an employee for a private ferry company who works in the terminal reported coming into close contact with an individual off Island a week ago who tested positive for COVID-19, according to a press release.
The terminal isn’t open for Steamship Authority ferries because of structural problems with the pier, but the SeaStreak fast ferry uses it to transport passengers from New Bedford.
“The employee reported the contact to SeaStreak today, Friday, May 22, 2020, after learning about the positive test result,” the release states. “The employee has been working at the facility since Monday, May 18, 2020 and has now been removed from duty. This employee has not displayed any symptoms of COVID-19 thus far, but will be tested and is now following the appropriate Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines. The employee traveled to the Vineyard last weekend on a Steamship Authority vessel but did not exit their vehicle during the voyage.”
According to the release, SeaStreak and SSA employees who may have come into contact with the individual are being notified. “…It is believed the risk for potential exposure was low. It is not believed that the employee came into close contact with any customers during this time period,” the release states.
Customers can purchase tickets onboard the SeaStreak ferry, according to the release.
“The Authority and its licensed operator Seastreak LLC have been following advanced cleaning protocols at all of its facilities and on board its vessels since the onset of COVID-19; however, as has been past practice, extra cleaning has been ordered via an outside vendor out of an abundance of caution,” the release states. “The cleaning will encompass the entire building, not only the employee areas, and will be performed by Moran Environmental using hospital-grade disinfectants.”
The Oak Bluffs terminal is expected to reopen Saturday morning.