Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is a respiratory illness that can spread from person to person. The virus that causes COVID-19 is a novel coronavirus that was first identified during an investigation into an outbreak in Wuhan, China. As this continues to evolve, please know that the health and safety of our passengers and employees remains our number one priority.
Casco Bay Lines is taking guidance from the Cumberland County Public Health District and Maine Centers for Disease Control on any operational changes that may be required due to the spread of the COVID-19. While no specific changes for public transit agencies have been recommended at this time, we have instructed our terminal and vessel personnel to routinely wipe down high touch surfaces as part of our ongoing regular cleaning schedules. Extra hand sanitizer dispensers and information materials have been deployed in the terminal and on our vessels for our customers to use while traveling with us. We are well-stocked with cleaning supplies and have provided our staff with education and support related to COVID-19 including proper hand hygiene and cough etiquette. We are also requiring that any sick employees remain home from work.
In keeping with social distancing recommendations, we have implemented the following:
- All committee and public meetings have been canceled through the end of the month of March. This includes our March 26th Board meeting.
- Effective March 14, 2020, the maximum capacity on board each vessel cannot exceed more than 250 passengers.
- Operations will include only regular service. The sale of all specialty cruise tickets has been halted through the end of the month of March. Full refunds will be issued for any pre-purchased specialty cruise tickets.
- All regular service passengers will be asked to rip their own tickets and place in a collection receptacle prior to boarding the vessel until further notice.
- We have made no other changes to our regular schedules or operations at this time. We will continue to operate unless and until we are completely unable to do so. As this evolves daily, we encourage customers to prepare for potential future operational changes, including some reductions in regular service.
We will also be looking to our passengers to assist in our efforts. In addition to taking the personal health preparedness steps that have been widely circulating in the news – wash your hands, don’t touch your face, cover coughs and sneezes – we encourage passengers to follow health officials’ recommendations for social distancing when possible while visiting our terminal or riding the ferry. There are several options for ferry riders to maintain a healthy amount of separation from fellow passengers:
- Customers can opt to stay in their vehicles if they drive on the car ferry.
- Ferry boats are much larger vessels than most other forms of transit, which gives passengers more opportunity to keep some distance between each other.
- Restrooms with running water and hand soap are available on all vessels, unlike many other forms of public transit. Riders are encouraged to use these facilities.
- If travel is necessary, passengers should consider traveling outside of the morning and afternoon commutes when the largest number of passengers travel.
- If you feel ill or are experiencing symptoms of COVID-19, please contact your healthcare provider and avoid traveling if possible.
Casco Bay Lines continues to work closely with the Cumberland District Public Health Liaison, the Maine Center for Disease Control and other state and local agencies to help protect the public and our employees. We value this community and thank you all for your cooperation in this effort.
Below are resources made available by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC):
An update will be shared no later than March 31, 2020.