COVID-19: U.S.-flag containership held off Virginia Beach

Written by Nick Blenkey
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Image: CDC

Vessel tracking services were this morning showing the U.S.-flag containership Maersk Idaho as still at anchor some 8 miles off Virginia Beach, Va., as its owner Maersk Line Limited worked on a plan to evacuate the ship’s crew to a quarantine facility, clean the vessel, then bring a new crew aboard.

The Virginian-Pilot newspaper quotes Patrick McCaffery, Maersk Line’s general counsel as saying that a member of the ship’s all-American crew fell ill a few days before the ship’s arrival in Newark, N.J. The crew member was first diagnosed with pneumonia via telemedicine but, on being hospitalized in Newark, he tested positive for COVID-19.

The Virginian-Pilot quotes McCaffery as saying that the crew member had not been ashore since joining the ship in mid-April.

Maersk was not notified of the positive diagnosis until the ship was en route to Norfolk, Va.

The company then notified both the port and the Coast Guard. Once the ship reached its anchorage point, a medical crew was flown out, all crew members were tested and nine tested positive. All had been asymptomatic.

Read the Virginian-Pilot report HERE.

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