Ferry crew confirmed clear of coronavirus

Ferry crew confirmed clear of coronavirus

The 47 crew were tested and all showed negative.

The crew of the Alaska Marine Highway System ferry M/V Matanuska tested negative for the coronavirus after a recent scare involving five passengers with confirmed cases, Alaska Department of Transportation and Public Facilities announced.

“This event is a testament to our crew diligently following protocol to prevent COVID-19 transmission,” said Department of Transportation and Public Facilities Commissioner John MacKinnon in a news release. “What could have easily resulted in a shipboard outbreak was averted by a quick and reasoned response from a well-trained crew.”

The crew of 47 was tested after they were informed during the voyage from Kake to Juneau that some passengers had been in close contact with an infected individual. The passengers were confined to their cabins, and the Matanuska’s Aug. 14 sailing from Bellingham was cancelled. The vessel will resume service on Aug. 21, sailing from Bellingham, according to the department.

Local and statewide case counts

City and Borough of Juneau’s emergency operations center reported 11 new COVID-19 cases for Monday and over the weekend.

Nine are resident cases and two are nonresidents, the city said in a news release. Seven of the resident cases are attributed by Public Health to contact with known cases. Two resident cases are under investigation, according to the city. The nonresident cases are in the mining sector.

Juneau has now had 240 confirmed COVID-19 cases — 149 residents and 91 nonresidents have tested positive for COVID-19, according to the city —and 56 cases are active.

Alaska Department of Health and Social Services reported Monday 50 new cases in 10 communities. Most of the cases —36 — are in Anchorage. No new nonresident cases were reported. The state reported one new hospitalization and no new deaths.

So far, there have been 4,309 resident cases and 801 nonresident cases, according to state data. Cumulatively, 28 Alaskans have died with COVID-19 and 175 have been hospitalized.

The state reported 1,250 residents have so far recovered.

• Contact reporter Michael S. Lockett at 757-621-1197 or lockett@juneauempire.com.

Ben Hohenstatt contributed to this report.

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