This photo shows the stern of the MV Matanuska on Thursday, Feb. 6, 2020. (Peter Segall / Juneau Empire File)

This photo shows the stern of the MV Matanuska on Thursday, Feb. 6, 2020. (Peter Segall / Juneau Empire File)

2 Matanuska crewmembers test positive for COVID

No close contacts with passengers identified.

Two Alaska Marine Highway System crewmembers tested positive for COVID-19 over the weekend, according to Alaska’s transportation department.

No close contact between crew and passengers were identified, Alaska Department of Transportation and Public Facilities said in a news release.

On Saturday, while the MV Matanuska was underway from Bellingham to Ketchikan, a member of the engineering crew began showing symptoms of COVID-19, according to the department of transportation. The Matanuska’s captain followed the AMHS COVID-19 mitigation plan and quarantined the crewmember in their cabin.

Upon arriving in Ketchikan, the crewmember was taken to Ketchikan Hospital, where they tested positive for COVID-19, according to the department. Contact tracing did not identify any passengers as close contacts. Testing located another COVID-19 case among the engineering crew.

The Matanuska was scheduled to depart Ketchikan at 6:30 a.m. Sunday but was delayed for approximately 11 hours, according to the department. After locating a replacement crew, the ship left Ketchikan at 5:30 p.m. Sunday and is anticipated to be back on schedule when it departs Southbound from Juneau on April 19. All affected passengers are being notified and rebooked or refunded as necessary.

Both crewmembers will isolate for at least 10 days, according to the department. That isolation period is per guidance from Alaska’s Department of Health and Social Services. The first crewmember will isolate in a Ketchikan hotel, and the second will quarantine at home in Juneau.

The crew will receive follow-up testing when the Matanuska arrives in Ketchikan on April 21.

Contact the Juneau Empire newsroom at (907)308-4895.

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