(KETCHIKAN, Alaska) – On Saturday, April 17, while underway from Bellingham to Ketchikan, a member of the Matanuska's engineering crew began showing symptoms of COVID-19. The ship's captain followed the AMHS COVID-19 mitigation plan and quarantined the crewmember in their cabin with the ventilation system turned off. When Matanuska arrived in Ketchikan on Sunday, the crewmember was transported to Ketchikan Hospital, where they tested positive for COVID-19.
AMHS coordinated with the Ketchikan Emergency Operations Center and Alaska Department of Health and Social Services (DHSS) to conduct additional testing and contact tracing. No passengers were identified as close contacts, and testing located one additional positive case among the engineering crew.
Both crewmembers will isolate for a minimum of 10 days, per guidance from DHSS. The first crewmember will isolate in a Ketchikan hotel, and the second will quarantine aboard until Matanuska reaches Juneau, where they will disembark and isolate at home. The crew will receive follow-up testing when Matanuska arrives in Ketchikan on Wednesday, April 21.
Matanuska was scheduled to depart Ketchikan at 6:30 am Sunday but was delayed for approximately 11 hours. AMHS located replacement crew and the ship left Ketchikan at 5:30 pm Sunday and is anticipated to be back on schedule when it departs Southbound from Juneau this evening, April 19. All affected passengers are being notified and rebooked or refunded as necessary.
The Alaska Department of Transportation and Public Facilities oversees 237 airports, 10 ferries serving 35 communities, more than 5,600 miles of highway and 776 public facilities throughout the state of Alaska. The mission of the department is to “Keep Alaska Moving through service and infrastructure.”
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