Preventative Precautions for COVID-19 (Coronavirus) at the Port of Cleveland
Cleveland, OH (March 27, 2020) – As the Port of Cleveland continues to prepare for the upcoming navigation season, the Port is also implementing proactive precautions that align with preventative guidelines established by the State of Ohio for COVID-19 (Novel Coronavirus).
On March 9, Governor DeWine signed an executive order declaring a state of emergency in Ohio to allow state departments and agencies to better coordinate in their response. As such, the Port of Cleveland encourages all stakeholders involved in commercial shipping to make themselves aware of the health and safety protocols established by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the Ohio Department of Health, and the Cleveland Department of Health.
Health & Safety Protocols: Managing the Spread
The CDC recommends that ships encourage crews and passengers to:
- Postpone travel when sick
- Watch their health
- Self-isolate and inform the onboard medical center immediately if they develop a fever (100.4oF / 38oC or higher), begin to feel feverish, or develop other signs or symptoms of sickness
- Use respiratory, cough, and hand hygiene
- Advise passengers and crew of the importance of covering coughs and sneezes with a tissue. Dispose used tissues immediately in a disposable container (e.g., plastic bag) or a washable trash can
- Remind passengers and crew members to wash their hands often with soap and water, especially after coughing or sneezing. If soap and water are not available, they can use a hand sanitizer containing 60%-95% alcohol)
Health & Safety Protocols: Vessel Owners & Operators
- Vessel representatives are required to report sick or deceased crew/passengers within the last 15 days to the CDC under 42 CFR 71.21. Regional CDC quarantine station points of contact can be found at: cdc.gov/quarantine/QuarantineStationContactListFull.html
- The Coast Guard will continue to review all “Notice of Arrivals” in accordance with current policies and will communicate any concerns stemming from sick or deceased crew or passengers to their Coast Guard chain of command and the CDC quarantine station who will coordinate with local health authorities.
- Vessel masters shall inform Coast Guard boarding teams of any ill crewmembers on board their vessel prior to the Coast Guard embarking and Boarding Teams should verify vessel illnesses with CDC if concerns arise. Learn more here: uscg.mil/coronavirus
- Local industry stakeholders, in partnership with their Coast Guard Captain of the Port, should review and be familiar with section 5310 Procedures for Vessel Quarantine and Isolation, and Section 5320 - Procedures for Security Segregation of Vessels in their Area Maritime Security Plan.
- Local industry stakeholders, in partnership with their Coast Guard Captain of the Port, should review and be familiar with their Marine Transportation System Recovery Plan.
The 2020 Great Lakes-St. Lawrence Seaway navigation season begins on April 1 for international vessel traffic upon the opening of the St. Lawrence Seaway. However, the first vessel is not scheduled to call on the Port of Cleveland until approximately the second week of April. This provides ample time for the Port to prepare and implement adequate preventative precautions in accordance to local, state and federal regulations.
Vessel agents, in conjunction with protocols established by the United States Coast Guard, will maintain constant communication with all ships calling on the Port to monitor the health and wellness of its crew. These protocols are in place to protect the health and wellness of Port employees, tenants, labor, and other stakeholders of the Port, as well as the local and regional community.
For situational updates, please check with the CDC at www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-nCoV/summary.html#situation-summary