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Ocracoke Ferry Runs Trimmed Due to COVID

Passengers wait in line to load the ferry at NCDOT’s Cedar Island terminal. Photo: Jennifer Allen

Ferry service on the Pamlico Sound routes between Cedar Island, Swan Quarter and Ocracoke will run an abridged schedule Dec. 22-28 due to a COVID-19-related temporary staff shortage.

Six employees, who last worked the route Dec. 14, have tested positive for COVID-19 and are under quarantine for at least 14 days. There are 11 other employees that came in contact with the crew who have not tested positive, but are all under quarantine.

Service on the Pamlico Sound routes between Cedar Island, Swan Quarter and Ocracoke will be reduced between Dec. 22-28 to the following schedule:

  • Ocracoke-Cedar Island: 7:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m.
  • Cedar Island-Ocracoke: 7:30 a.m. and 10:30 a.m.
  • Ocracoke-Swan Quarter: 10:00 a.m. and 1:30 p.m.
  • Swan Quarter-Ocracoke: 1:30 p.m. and 4:30 p.m.

State Department of Transportation officials said that two of the positive tests came from the crew of the M/V Swan Quarter, and four work are onshore personnel. The  Swan Quarter, which currently runs the Cedar Island-Ocracoke route, has been cleaned extensively using COVID-19 procedures.

All ferry crews are required to wear face coverings when on board and passengers are required to practice social distancing and wear face coverings while on ferry decks or in passenger lounges.

The Hyde County and Carteret County health departments as well as the state Department of Health and Human Services have been notified of the positive tests.

The terminals at Cedar Island, Swan Quarter and Ocracoke have also been cleaned and sanitized since the positive tests. During the pandemic, all ferries and terminals have undergone frequent cleanings while in service.

Passengers who think they may have been exposed to the virus should contact their local health departments.

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Staff Report

The story was compiled by staff members of Coastal Review Online.