FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. – Metro Cruise Services -- the employer of three of the four COVID-19 patients in Broward County -- released a statement on Tuesday saying they worked at various cruise terminals in Port Everglades.
Metro Cruise Services President Anthony Newman said the company was unaware the three part-time employees were sick until public health officials notified them.
“We then immediately notified all of our Port Everglades employees that one of their associates had tested positive and advised them that, if they have any symptoms, they should seek medical assistance and not report to work,” Newman said.
Officials recommended employees of Metro Cruise Services at Port Everglades with any association to the COVID-19 cases to self-quarantine. Trouble is some COVID-19 patients can be asymptomatic while spreading the SARS-CoV-2 virus, and some patients’ symptoms won’t be apparent until after about 14 days.
Despite the discrepancy, Newman said the company, which is the largest cruise terminal operator on the West Coast, is assisting all relevant governmental agencies with their inquiries and instructions.
“The health and safety of our workforce and those they encounter remain our top priority,” Newman said in the statement, which didn’t address if the company will offer employees on self-quarantine paid time off.
The Department of State asked U.S. citizens to avoid travel by cruise ship. Florida Department of Health and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention officials are asking anyone who has recently been on a cruise ship to self-quarantine for 14 days.
Gov. Ron DeSantis declared a state of emergency on Monday and Broward County on Tuesday.
For more information about the cases, call the Florida hotline at 1-866-779-6121 or the COVID-19 Call Center at 1-866-799-6121.