The B.C. Ferries vessel the Spirit of British Columbia. (File photo)

BC Ferries confirms worker has COVID-19

Employee on Tsawwassen route didn’t work in vessel’s public areas

A B.C. Ferries employee is off work with COVID-19, but the ferry corporation says he didn’t come in contact with any passengers on the ship’s public decks.

B.C. Ferries CEO Mark Collins told the News Bulletin that the employee, who lives on the mainland and works in shipboard operations on a major route to and from Tsawwassen, got his positive COVID-19 test result yesterday and immediately notified his employer.

Since then, B.C. Ferries determined that the employee had been in contact with seven other workers, most recently about 10 days ago.

“His role is not one that routinely comes into contact with the public,” Collins said.

The worker who has COVID-19 is being treated at home. His co-workers are now off work and isolated.

“They’re now 10 days into the cycle with no symptoms, so that’s a good sign,” said Collins.

He said B.C. Ferries has responded to the pandemic in numerous ways, including heightened cleaning routines and elimination of food services. Transport Canada’s decision to allow passengers to remain on lower vehicle decks, along with a significant drop in ridership, has made social distancing easier onboard vessels.

“With everybody staying in their cars and lower traffic anyway, if you are travelling as a foot passenger, you’ve got a lot of room on the ships now to find your own corner, if you will,” Collins said.

The CEO said B.C. Ferries is “taking great care to protect the health and safety of our ferry workers” and he said he’s proud of them.

“Like health care workers, like airport workers, like transit workers, our people need to go to work to keep those essential services going and we’re just really proud of them,” Collins said. “After all, they’re doing it for British Columbians and it’s brave.”

READ ALSO: B.C. Ferries halts all food service as sandwiches go uneaten amid COVID-19

READ ALSO: People now allowed to stay in cars on B.C. Ferries to avoid COVID-19 spread



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