FOR RELEASE - March 11, 2020
Contact: Aaron Ellis, Public Affairs Director, firstname.lastname@example.org
American Association of Port Authorities
1010 Duke Street
Alexandria, VA 22314
Phone: (703) 684-5700 www.aapa-ports.org
Cruise Ports Encouraged to Prevent Spread of COVID-19
The American Association of Port Authorities encourages Western Hemisphere cruise ports to take necessary precautions to help prevent the spread of novel coronavirus
The novel coronavirus(COVID-19)is presentthroughout the Western Hemisphere,andthe U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC) recently issued guidanceregarding cruise travel.AAPA encourages cruise ports throughout the Western Hemisphere to play a leadership role inpreventingthe spread of COVID-19.
In addition to the response from the U.S. CDC, manyregionalhealth agenciesthroughout thehemisphereare playing key roles inthe COVID-19 epidemic.Additionally, the U.S. Coast Guard and local municipalities and law enforcement agencies have been important partners of ports.Respecting the significant expertise that public health officialsand othersbring to the disease response,we strongly recommend thatportssupportscreening and quarantine protocolsrecommended or mandated by these agencies.
The resources required to successfully implement screening and quarantine protocols will likely vary from port to port, andwe encourageports to be meaningful partnerswith public health agenciesinimplementing these protocols.
Sinceinformation aboutCOVID-19 remainsvery fluid, cruise ports and their partners are encouraged to plan for all scenarios and take necessary precautions to help contain this new virus.
AAPA recommends thatportshelplimit and control the outbreak of coronavirusthroughthe following practices:
One of the most basic but important functions that ports can provide during this outbreak is following a clearly articulated,methodicalprocedure forregularly sanitizingcruise facilities.Sanitation efforts should occurcontinuouslyon days ofcruise sailings.This includesdeepcleaningofcruise terminalsand close coordination with cruise line partners and port agents.
A sanitation protocolshould includedisinfectinghigh-touch, hard surfaces such asrailings, doorknobs, countertops,outlets/charging stations and arm rests.
Ports should ensure that tissue dispensers (if present) and soap dispensersin restroomsare checked several times each daywhen cruise terminals are in use. Additionally,amplehand sanitizershouldbe madeavailable to passengersthroughoutterminals.
Video monitors(where available) and/or signage should be displayed to remind passengers and cruise terminal staff to washtheirhands frequently, as the CDC continues to emphasize that hand washing is the most effective way to contain the spread of the virus.
Ports and their partners should make cruise facility staff aware of the symptoms of COVID-19 (fever, cough, shortness of breath)andensure that employees are aware of the appropriate protocols for notifyingsupervisors and/orpublic health officialsregarding potentially ill travelers.
AAPA and its member port authoritiestakethe COVID-19 outbreakseriously and are monitoring it closely.We believe that it is critically important to ensure that transmission of this disease is limited and that those who have been infected are well treated and receive quality care. We take these actions toprotect the most vulnerable among us, and we mourn for those whose lives have been tragically cut short by this pathogen crisis.
About AAPA Founded in 1912 and recognized as the unified voice of seaports in the Americas, AAPA today represents 130 of the leading seaport authorities in the United States, Canada, Latin America and the Caribbean and more than 200 sustaining and associate members, firms and individuals with an interest in seaports. According toIHS Markit’s GTA Forecasting(previously known as World Trade Service), combined international sea trade moving through Western Hemisphere seaports in 2018 totaled nearly 4.2 billion metric tons in volume and US$3.7 trillion in value. Of that combined total, seaports in Central and South America handled 1.86 billion metric tons of cargo valued at US$1.17 trillion, while North American seaports handled 2.34 billion metric tons of goods, valued at US$2.53 trillion. Within North America, U.S. seaports handled 1.01 billion metric tons of international trade valued at US$1.95 trillion, while Canada’s seaports handled 380.53 million metric tons of goods valued at US$266.67 billion, and Mexico’s seaports handled 352.53 million metric tons of cargo valued at US$312.91 billion. To meet the growing demand for trade, the AAPA and its members are committed to keeping seaports navigable, secure and sustainable. For more information, visit www.aapa-ports.org. On Twitter: http://twitter.com/AAPA_Seaports