In a phone interview with Victoria Buzz, BC Ferries spokesperson Deborah Marshall confirmed that one employee has tested positive for COVID-19 and is now recovering in isolation.
According to Marshall, the employee in question did not work in a position that put them in contact with passengers.
They worked on the Spirit of British Columbia vessel and came into contact with seven other employees, all of whom are now on paid leave and in self isolation.
“This employee worked on March 9th and 10th and did not exhibit signs of illness during that time,” says Marshall.
“After that person was on several days of rest, they started showing symptoms and were tested positive for COVID-19.”
While the Spirit of British Columbia vessel is based in Tsawwassen (Vancouver), it is unclear whether the affected employee resides on the mainland or on Vancouver Island.
BC Ferries are not advising any passengers to self isolate as a result of this news at this time.
Marshall says the company has already stepped up their cleaning and disinfecting procedures over the past two weeks.
In compliance with health directives, food services have been suspended onboard ferries and passengers are now allowed to remain in their vehicles in order to self isolate.
However Marshall also reiterates the overarching directive to avoid all non-essential travel during this global pandemic.
“If you don’t have [anywhere] to go then probably best to stay home.”