Port employee with Covid-19 would not have interacted with truck drivers

by Eric Berard

MONTREAL, Que. – An employee at the Port of Montreal has tested positive for Covid-19, the Maritime Employers’ Association (MEA) has confirmed, but the individual is a longshoreman who would have limited interaction with truck drivers.

The employee was already in self isolation, says association spokesman Louis Aucoin, and a related statement says necessary hygiene measures have been taken.

Terminal operators in the area have already established several measures to protect against Covid-19.

“In the case of Termont, I know they have a team 24 hours a day, seven days a week to continuously clean their facilities,” Aucoin said.

The Port of Montreal has also been limiting the number of people who can be admitted to rest areas, to support social distancing.

Patrick Turcotte, president of TYT Group in Drummondville, says his fleet was notified of the port’s Covid-19 case last Friday.

“They were very transparent. They closed for a period of 24 hours to carry out hygiene and disinfection measures and to make sure everything was correct,” he says.

“Our drivers have had guidelines for ensuring safety since the start of this pandemic,” he adds. Regular hand washing and the use of surgical gloves are among the measures being employed.

Drivers access the port using an automated pass and never leave the truck cab, Turcotte says.

“Our drivers go to the port several times a day, so we can see exactly how it is going. For the time being, things are going relatively well.”

The fleet has not seen a drop in the volume of cargo coming through the port because it supports essential service businesses, he adds.

“However, having spoken to other carriers, I know that some are experiencing a drop in volume right now.”

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