Iyanough SSA employee tests positive for COVID-19

An employee on the SSA's Iyanough tested positive for COVID-19. -Rich Saltzberg

A Steamship Authority employee assigned to the MV Iyanough, the fast ferry that travels between Nantucket and Hyannis, has tested positive for COVID-19, according to a press release from SSA communications director Sean Driscoll.

The employee last worked on the high-speed ferry on its first two scheduled round trips Wednesday. The trips departed from Hyannis at 8:15 am and 11 am and departed Nantucket at 9:30 am and 12:30 pm. While on duty the employee became aware of the positive COVID-19 test result and immediately notified the SSA and leff the vessel while it was in Hyannis. Other crew members were also sent home. Employees who may have come in contact with the infected individual are being notified to arrange for testing.

The SSA canceled the 2 pm departure from Hyannis and the 3:30 pm departure from Nantucket to allow for a “thorough cleaning” and to re-staff the vessel with unaffected crew members. The vessel’s final round trip, which left Hyannis at 5 pm and will leave Nantucket at 6:15 pm, was scheduled to run.

“The SSA is not disclosing the employee’s name or position within the SSA to ensure privacy.

Steamship Authority personnel used hospital-grade disinfectants on board the M/V Iyanough and at the Hyannis terminal to perform a cleaning of both public and employee areas at both locations,” according to the statement. “The cleaning was in addition to the precautionary measures already 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.”

The SSA is working with public health officials in Barnstable and Nantucket counties to share information. SSA employees are instructed to stay at home if they are sick, wear face coverings at work, and frequently wash their hands and use hand sanitizer.

“I would like to acknowledge our staff for their quick response to today’s events and for ensuring that our Nantucket high-speed service can continue safely and with minimal disruption to our customers,” general manager Robert Davis said in the release.