As we start a new week, I am sorry to have to confirm that there have been two new positive COVID-19 cases associated with Vancouver Drydock. The individuals were last at VDC on Wednesday, September 16, and Friday, September 18, respectively. On recognizing symptoms, they proactively sought testing and immediately advised Seaspan. I applaud and appreciate their actions and accountability to all of us and send best wishes for their full recovery.
As you know, Seaspan, in collaboration with Public Health officials and our medical consultant, has a well-defined response protocol which includes contact tracing and contact notification. Those employees who were potentially in close contact have already been identified and notified.
With the anticipated second wave now starting in BC and across the country, the risk of exposure is growing. We have all done a very good job to date of keeping COVID out of our shipyards but, at the end of the day, we are an extension of the communities we work in.
It’s important to remember how and where exposure happens. If you have been closer than two metres (six feet) to someone with confirmed COVID-19 for more than 15 minutes in total over the course of the day, without proper PPE, then you are considered to be a “close contact” as defined by provincial health. For contact tracing purposes, this is defined within the 48 hours prior to symptom onset in the individual who returned the positive test. For that reason, the single most important thing you can do to avoid transmission is to keep at least two metres (six feet) between you and others. If it is not possible to physically distance, you must wear a mask.
As we have done since the beginning of the pandemic, we continue to review and adjust our operations to ensure that we are doing all we can to keep employees and each other safe. With the growing risk of transmission in our communities, I have asked the management teams at all yards to double down and increase vigilance. That means more masking, more monitoring and strict enforcement of physical distancing. I am also asking that those working in offices minimize in-person meetings and use Microsoft Teams as much as possible, even when meeting with colleagues who are also at the office. These are simple but effective things we can do to prevent transmission.
I appreciate that these COVID-positive notifications can be unsettling. I believe being forewarned is being forearmed. Awareness helps inform our actions, and I am committed to communicating new information, including new cases, as frequently as needed and as transparently as possible while respecting individual privacy.
If you are experiencing any symptoms of illness or feeling unwell, stay home, advise your supervisor and seek appropriate medical attention. If you are concerned or have any questions, please contact Tina Craig, Manager of Seaspan Wellness (w: 604-990-3316; c: 778-874-4438; e: firstname.lastname@example.org).
Thank you for staying vigilant,
Teamwork Builds Ships