Two SSA employees on Nantucket test positive for COVID-19

The Iyanough underwent a deep cleaning after two SSA employees on Nantucket tested positive for COVID-19. - Rich Saltzberg

Two Steamship Authority employees assigned to the Nantucket terminal have tested positive for COVID-19 in recent days, according to a press release issued by the SSA spokesman Sean Driscoll.

The SSA has taken preventive measures to ensure the safety of the public and employees, the release states. “The time frame associated with the first employee’s test results (“Employee A”) makes any potential risk of exposure to the public or other Authority employees extremely low, as the employee had not been to work for more than a week prior to being tested,” according to the release. “Regarding the second employee (“Employee B”), the Authority is working closely with public health officials on Nantucket to guide its efforts to share information and public health recommendations with passengers and Steamship employees who may have come into contact with Employee B.”

The names of the employees and their positions were not released to protect the privacy of their health information.

“Employee B last worked at the terminal on Wednesday, August 5, 2020, and was in a position to come into contact with the public,” the release states. “However, precautionary measures have long been in place at the terminal, including tempered glass installed at the ticket counters, the usage of cloth face coverings by all employees, and social distance markers set up in the terminal and passenger queuing areas to minimize the risk of transmission.” 

According to the release, the SSA was notified by Employee B of the positive test result on Wednesday. Employee A notified the ferry service of their positive test result on Friday, the same day Employee B made the Authority aware of their potential exposure. “At that time, Authority staff used an electrostatic sprayer that dispenses hospital-grade disinfectants to clean not only the Nantucket terminal but the MV Iyanough and MV Eagle, both vessels on which at least one of the employees had recently traveled.,” the release states.

The cleanings are in addition to daily cleanings done by SSA employees of high-touch areas.

General Manager Robert Davis extended his gratitude to both employees for closely adhering to the company’s protocols so appropriate action could be taken, the release states. Among the measures in effect are telling employees to stay home when sick, wear cloth face coverings, wash their hands or use hand sanitizer frequently, and maintain social distance.

“We hope both of our employees experience full and quick recoveries,” Davis said.