By Gretchen Wehmhoff
An Alaska Marine Highway System (AMHS) crew member on the LeConte tested positive for COVID-19 last Saturday, initiating tests for every crewmember on the same shift. AHMS has since reported that all 23 crew results came back negative.
The two-week crew scheduled to arrive on the LeConte Aug. 14 have been tested prior to sailing per AMHS policies requiring each crewmember to show proof of negative results within seven days of starting their shift.
According to an AMHS press release, Alaska Department of Health and Social Services Epidemiology section determined that an infectious person with COVID-19 may have traveled on the LeConte sometime between July 21 and July 31, but whether or not that person was a passenger is unknown.
The testing and fatigue of the crew due to the incident was the primary reason Capt. John Falvey, AMHS general manager, chose to postpone the Sunday sailing to the upper Lynn Canal ports of Haines and Skagway.
According to an AHMS spokesperson, high seas and strong winds were reported over the weekend, but the only route to have been affected by the weather was the Juneau to Pelican trip, normally scheduled for Monday. AHMS pushed the round trip to Pelican to Aug. 11, a day the LeConte is normally in port.