The N.C. Department of Transportation’s Ferry Division is strengthening procedures to protect the health and safety of passengers and crew members during the COVID-19 outbreak.
“The safety of our passengers and crews is our top priority,” said Ferry Division Director Harold Thomas. “For that reason, we’ll be putting these measures in place until further notice.”
Ferry crews are increasing regular cleaning practices in seating areas and restroom facilities. Ferry employees are required to regularly wash their hands and are encouraged to wear gloves to control the spread of the virus.
In addition, passengers are now being asked to remain in their vehicles for the duration of the voyage, if possible. Passengers who need to exit their vehicles are asked to follow guidelines developed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, including limiting contact with surfaces, remaining at least six feet away from other passengers and employees and washing hands for at least 20 seconds before returning to their vehicles.
Guidance on preventing the spread of the virus from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is also being posted in areas where it can be easily seen by passengers and employees.
Last week, Governor Roy Cooper declared a state of emergency in North Carolina due to COVID-19. The governor also issued an executive order closing the state’s public schools for two weeks starting March 16 and prohibiting gatherings of more than 100 people.
This story originally appeared on OBXToday.com. Read More local stories here.