Halifax Shipyard announces first COVID-19 case in employee on Thursday
HALIFAX -- Irving Shipbuilding has confirmed the first positive case of COVID-19 at their Halifax location on Thursday.
In a news release from the company, they say an employee who works at the Halifax Shipyard has tested positive for COVID-19. That person is self-isolating, as required.
"Per contact tracing protocols, Nova Scotia Health reached out directly to the members of the person's crew late this morning and directed the crew of 15 people to go home, self-isolate and schedule COVID-19 tests," wrote the company in a news release on Thursday. "It was after this initial outreach that we first became aware of the positive COVID-19 case."
Officials with Irving Shipbuilding say they contacted Nova Scotia Health to confirm the details and immediately informed the union leadership.
Although it's not required, the company took extra precaution and suspended all production activities. They also sent home all of their dayshift employees who work in the Assembly Hall and Module Hall, which is where the infected person works.
“Our thoughts are with our colleague today, who we wish good health and a quick return to work once it safe to do so,” said Kevin Mooney, the president of Irving Shipbuilding. “I also want to thank the Union leadership for their collaboration and cooperation on the actions taken today, which saw us safely and efficiently suspend production in less than one hour of learning of the positive test result.”
Production at the Assembly Hall and Module Halls have been shutdown until the 2nd shift on Friday in order to complete disinfection and cleaning by trained response professionals.
The company also said in their news release that they are working with public health to immediately set up a pop-up testing station across from the shipyard to allow testing for employees who want to be tested.
COVID-19 SAFETY PROTOCOLS IN PLACE
In the company's news release, they say health and safety protocols for COVID-19 have been in place since the beginning of the pandemic in order to help curb the spread of the virus.
Those protocols include:
- Daily temperature screening for all employees, contractors and visitors
- Completion of Medical Questionnaires for all employees, contractors and visitors before being allowed into worksites
- Significantly enhanced cleaning programs
- Installation of more than 100 hand-sanitizing areas
- Cancellation of all non-essential workplace visits
- Reconfiguration of all lunchrooms, offices and workspaces
- Re-engineering of work procedures to minimize or eliminate two-person tasks
- Requirement to wear Non-Medical Masks at all times when travelling to and from workspaces and when 6ft physical distancing cannot be maintained
- Staggered shift times and staggered lunch breaks
- Installation of an additional and lunch and break area