Another Martha’s Vineyard crew member tests positive

Another Martha's Vineyard crew member has tested positive for the novel coronavirus. -Rich Saltzberg

A second crew member of the Steamship Authority ferry Martha’s Vineyard has tested positive for COVID-19. Four SSA employees have tested positive recently, including someone who works at a terminal and an individual who works in parking and bus operations

Despite four employees testing positive, all associated with the Martha’s Vineyard route, SSA spokesman Sean Driscoll said no changes are planned in how the Steamship Authority operates.

The most recent case was reported Monday, according to a press release. “The employee last worked on the vessel starting on the noon trip from Woods Hole on Tuesday, December 29, 2020, and ending with the vessel’s 10:15 am arrival in Vineyard Haven on Wednesday, December 30, 2020,” according to the press release. “The crew member subsequently felt ill and was tested for COVID-19; after receiving a positive test result, the employee notified the Authority on Monday, January 4, 2021.”

The ferry line has notified any employees who may have been in “close contact” with the crewmember who tested positive, the release states. 

“Those employees will not be allowed to return to work until after receiving a negative test result or being cleared to work by a medical professional,” according to a release. “No operational changes or interrupts are anticipated as a result of this incident.”

The SSA isn’t disclosing the name of the crew member to protect that employee’s confidential health information. 


  • No surprise…I did a round trip Wednesday the 30th. Several SSA employees on both sides were either mask less, didn’t have their noses under the masks and/or weren’t distancing. Management needs to do better supervision and enforcement.

  • Isn’t it time for some one to make some tough decisions. The steam ship has managers that must speak up and send people home. Make sure the employees have good masks. Spend a few thousand dollars on great breathing hoods … god knows that $200 – $300 per person to save their life, others lives, or to forego some of the lifetime crippling after effects for others, is a must.!
    Or is the Union that inept, rigid and clueless as to work out compromises
    This is also the time to do the responsible thing, clearly, shut the boats down if necessary, one at a time and do a thorough cleaning. Or hire A specialized cleaning crew to come in at night to sanitize the boats. A dirty mop sloshed along the decks, stairs or wiping handrails with an unchanged rag just doesn’t make it..

  • maybe they should add a “how are we doing on masks” on their website, or post some “see something, say something” policies or signage

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