Department Of Health News

02 Apr 2020

Workers From a BP Gulf of Mexico Platform Test Positive for COVID-19

File photo. BP did not say which platform the COVID-19 cases were associated with or whether production was impacted. (Photo: BP)

Several workers on a BP Plc oil platform in the U.S. Gulf of Mexico have tested positive for coronavirus, the company said on Wednesday, a day after a worker at BP's operations in Alaska also tested positive.The cases are the first recorded among oil workers in the Gulf of Mexico and Alaska, and follow a positive test at an Equinor offshore project in the North Sea.A case of the coronavirus was also reported at BP's Whiting, Indiana refinery, according to local media reports.More than 850…

20 Mar 2020

Coast Guard Cadet Tests Positive for COVID-19

(File photo: Cory D. Payne, USCG)

A U.S. Coast Guard Academy Cadet has tested positive for COVID-19 after returning from a spring break trip to Europe.The cadet, a 20-year-old male, was in Spain along with six other cadets and a civilian friend when they were ordered to return to the U.S. based on the Presidential Proclamation suspending travel from Europe.Upon returning home to Florida, the cadet became symptomatic and sought treatment and screening and was confirmed as positive for the novel coronavirus based on test results received Thursday from a Florida Department of Health Facility.

19 Mar 2020

US to Deploy Hospital Ships for Coronavirus Response

The USNS Mercy (Photo: Zach Kreitzer, U.S. Navy)

Two U.S. Navy hospital ships are being prepared to aid shoreside medical facilities that could become overrun by the coronavirus pandemic, the Pentagon's chief spokesman said.The USNS Comfort and USNS Mercy will be deployed "as needed to assist potentially overwhelmed counties with acute patient care" as part of the Defense Department's response to the pandemic, Jonathan Rath Hoffman, assistant to the defense secretary for public affairs, said during a news conference at the Pentagon on Wednesday.The Comfort is now in Norfolk…

19 Mar 2020

Cape Town Ships Cleared After Negative COVID-19 Tests

© HandmadePictures / Adobe Stock

Test results from the individuals suspected to be the first cases of COVID-19 in any South African seaport have all come back negative, Transnet National Ports Authority has confirmed.Earlier this week two vessels, the general cargo vessel MV Corona and the cruise ship AIDAmira, were held off port limits outside the Port of Cape Town. The cruise liner was later allowed to dock but its roughly 1,700 passengers and crew remained onboard pending test results from one suspected COVID-19 case and seven others who had possible contact with him.Captain Dennis Mqadi…

17 Mar 2020

Long Beach Terminals Remain Open

COSCO America leaving Pier J at the Port of Long Beach in February 2020. (Photo: Port of Long Beach)

Marine terminals at at the United States’ second-busiest seaport have remained open and operating amid the unfolding coronavirus crisis, with regular vessel calls and scheduled work shifts continuing, the Port of Long Beach said.The port said its marine terminals are receiving vessel calls and workers are transferring cargo off and on ships under the health-protective directives established by the U.S. Coast Guard and Customs and Border Protection, with guidance from the U.S.

13 Mar 2020

Brazil Isolates Cruise Ship After Suspected Coronavirus Case

© lensw0rld/ Adobe Stock

A cruise ship with 609 people on board has been isolated in Brazil's northeastern port of Recife since Thursday morning after a passenger showed symptoms similar to those of the new coronavirus, according to the Department of Health in Pernambuco state.A 78-year-old Canadian man with fever, coughing and breathing difficulties was sent to a private hospital in the state capital Recife after disembarking.The remaining 318 passengers and 291 crew members will be kept in isolation…

09 Mar 2020

NY/NJ Port Head Tests Positive for Coronavirus

Rick Cotton (Photo: Port Authority of New York and New Jersey)

Rick Cotton, executive director of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, has tested positive for the novel coronavirus, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo announced on Monday.The Port Authority, which oversees both states' seaports as well as airports and other major travel hubs, said in a statement that Cotton is currently asymptomatic and has self-quarantined at his home while maintaining a full work schedule.Staff members who have had close contact with Cotton in recent…

26 Sep 2019

SC Ports, DHEC Get Grant for Crane Tech

Cranes at Wando Welch Terminal will be upgraded with high performing, environmentally friendly engines. (Photo/English Purcell/S.C. Ports Authority)

South Carolina Ports Authority (SCPA) and the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC) were awarded a $2 million grant from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Diesel Emissions Reduction Act (DERA) grant program to upgrade the engines of 12 rubber-tired gantry (RTG) cranes.The EPA awarded the grant to DHEC, in partnership with SCPA. The funding will equip the Port’s RTG cranes with hybrid battery/genset engine systems, replacing the existing hi-power diesel engines.The new engines will reduce emissions of particulate matter…

25 Jan 2019

Study Takes Cruise to Task on Emissions

© wemm/AdobeStock

A report entitled â€śAn investigation of air pollution on the decks of 4 cruise ships” studied levels of Particulate Matter (PM) on the decks of four separate cruise ships. While many studies have evaluated the potential impact of ship emissions in port cities, the author – Ryan David Kennedy, PhD, MAES, Department of Health, Behavior & Society, Johns Hopkins University, Bloomberg School of Public Health – said in the report that “little is known about how ship engine exhaust may impact the air quality on the deck of a ship.

15 Aug 2018

Barge Capsizes Near Surfside Beach, SC

(U.S. Coast Guard photo)

The U.S. Coast Guard said it is responding to a 30-foot barge which capsized near Surfside Beach, S.C., Wednesday.Coast Guard Sector Charleston is working closely with the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control and the barge's owner to identify any potential environmental impacts.The cause of the incident is under investigation.

27 Jun 2018

TNPA Focuses on Ship Repair

Preston Khomo (Photo: TNPA)

Transnet National Ports Authority (TNPA) appointed Preston Khomo, previously Richards Bay Port Manager, as Executive Manager: Ship Repair, to manage and administer the organization’s ship repair resources nationally.Thamsanqa (Thami) Sithole has been appointed as the new Port Manager for Richards Bay. Both appointments are effective July 1.Khomo joined TNPA in 2004 as Head of Infrastructure Development: Port Operations and Consulting at Portcon (the then international arm of Transnet)…

22 Feb 2017

Containership Fire Extinguished in South Africa

Photo: Port of Ngqura

The joint effort undertaken by a Disaster Management team at the Port of Ngqura has helped to avert a potential maritime disaster and ultimately saved the container vessel APL Austria, which caught fire last weekend. Transnet National Ports Authority, Transnet Port Terminals, the Nelson Mandela Metropolitan Fire Department, South African Maritime Safety Authority (SAMSA), South African Police Services (SAPS), National Sea Rescue Institute (NSRI) and a stevedoring company, worked together to battle the blaze, and the fire was eventually extinguished on Wednesday, February 15.

15 Oct 2014

SC Ports Authority Container Volume Up 13%

Photo: SC Ports Authority

Today SC Ports Authority announced 13 percent year-over-year increases in container volume through the first quarter of the 2015 fiscal year. SCPA handled 150,790 twenty-foot equivalent units (TEUs) in September, up 13.4 percent over the same month in 2013. Container volumes are 10.3 percent ahead of plan for the fiscal year, which began in July. From a calendar year perspective, TEUs  are up 11.5 percent over 2013 levels. Charleston breakbulk cargo volumes were also strong in September, with 65,214 pier tons handled during the month.

26 Aug 2014

South African Measures to Counter Spread of Ebola

Ebola-epidemic

South Africa's Department of Health has published a Cabinet decision with regards to measures to counter and control the potential spread of Ebola from West African countries where outbreaks have been reported. Cases of the disease have been reported in Guinea, Sierra Leone, Liberia and Nigeria, and recently an increase in the number of cases has been noted in the first three. The Department of Health has taken measures in South Africa to enhance surveillance, distribute guidelines to all hospitals in public and private sectors…

12 Aug 2014

Monroe County to Conduct Maritime Security Exercise

(Credit: USCG)

Scheduled for Thursday and Friday, federal, state, local and Canadian law enforcement partners will be brought together in a multi-agency exercise designed to prepare for and prevent cross-border terrorist and criminal activity on the Niagara River, Lake Erie and Lake Ontario. There are no known threats against the area, but boaters may notice increased assets of law enforcement on the water. Organized by The Monroe County Emergency Management Office, the multi-jurisdictional exercise will be sponsored by The Department of Homeland Security.

15 Apr 2014

USCG Cutter Leaked Sewage at Hawaii Base

Coast Guard Cutter Morgenthau (USCG photo)

The U.S. Coast Guard (USCG) said it is investigating a sewage discharge from one of its vessels, the Coast Guard Cutter Morgenthau, at Coast Guard Base Sand Island, Tuesday. According to the USCG, at approximately 9:30 a.m. Monday a crewmember aboard the Coast Guard Cutter Morgenthau reported the smell of sewage to the Engineer of the Watch. The Engineer of the Watch went to the side of the ship and observed brown water flowing overboard through the sewage discharge port intended for use only at sea and immediately secured the system.

07 Apr 2014

Update: Response Efforts Continue on South Matagorda Island

Photo courtesy of Texas City "Y" Response

Effective shoreline clean-up efforts are on-going, Saturday, along Mustang, South Matagorda and North Padre islands in response to the Texas City oil spill. As of sunset Friday, response workers have removed a total of 200,775 pounds of oiled sand and oiled debris from the shorelines of Mustang, North Padre and South Matagorda islands. These figures include 102,700 pounds of oiled material from Mustang Island, 93,550 pounds from South Matagorda and 4,525 pounds from shoreline around Bob Hall pier.

02 Apr 2014

Texas City Y Oil Spill Information Session

Representatives of the Unified Command responding to a March 22 oil spill will join community leaders in an informational session on Thursday, April 3, at 6:30 p.m. The event will take place at Port O’Connor Elementary School, 508 Monroe Avenue. Officials from the United States Coast Guard, Texas General Land Office, Kirby Inland Marine, Texas Parks and Wildlife, U.S. Fish and Wildlife, NOAA, and Texas Department of Health Services will join representatives from Calhoun County government and the Chamber of Commerce in updating the community. “We are pleased to be invited to meet with local residents and business owners and appreciate the opportunity to answer any questions or concerns they may have,” said Incident Commander Randal S. Ogryzdiak. texascityyresponse.com

18 Sep 2013

Hawaii Establishes Incident Command for Molasses Spill

The Hawaii Department of Health has implemented an incident command system to further organize the response to the molasses spill in Honolulu Harbor, Monday. An incident command post has been established at the Clean Islands Council facility near Sand Island. The incident command is comprised of representatives from the Hawaii Department of Health, Department of Land and Natural Resources, Department of Transportation, Matson, Coast Guard, Environmental Protection Agency, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. The incident command has drafted and approved an incident action plan which outlines key objectives of the response and provides clear direction to all participants.

16 Sep 2013

Post Spill: Analyzing the Water in Honolulu Harbor

Coast Guard National Strike Force samples water in Honolulu Harbor

Representatives from the Coast Guard National Strike Force, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, U.S. Fish and Wildlife, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration conducted water sampling as part of a joint effort to analyze the effects of the molasses spill in Honolulu Harbor Sunday. The combined team departed Coast Guard Station Honolulu Sunday morning aboard a 45-foot Response Boat-Medium. The National Strike Force crewmembers from the Atlantic, Gulf and Pacific Strike…

16 Sep 2013

USCG Responds to Honolulu Harbor Molasses Spill

Coast Guard Sector Honolulu received an official request from the Hawaii Department of Health to assist with the response to the molasses spill in Honolulu Harbor Friday. “The Coast Guard is prepared to bring all the requested resources to this incident to support our state and local partner agencies” said Capt. Shannon Gilreath, captain of the port Honolulu. “We have been working closely with state partners since the spill occurred to offer advice and resources. The Coast Guard began supporting the response Monday morning when investigators from Sector Honolulu responded to a report of discolored water in the harbor. Since then, the Coast Guard has held daily meetings with the lead State agency, Hawaii Department of Health.

15 Sep 2013

Honolulu Harbor Molasses Spill: Coast Guard Assist

State officials in Hawaii consider there's little they can do to clean up a 223,000-gallon molasses spill that has killed thousands of fish, as swimmers, surfers and snorkelers were being warned that the massive die-off could attract sharks. A cracked pipe on a loading jetty caused the spill, according to NPR. The request for federal assistance allows the Coast Guard to support the lead agency with a wide variety of resources to include specialized response personnel, boats and equipment from the Coast Guard and other Federal Agencies. The captain of the port requested support from the Coast Guard’s National Strike Force for water sampling and monitoring and is currently coordinating with technical specialists from the EPA to help assess additional response mitigation strategies.

13 Sep 2013

Molasses Spill Kills Fish in Honolulu Harbor

The Hawaii State Department of Health (DOH) has confirmed that the brown substance that is contaminating much of Honolulu Harbor and Keehi Lagoon and is the apparent cause of death for many marine animals, is molasses that spilled into the harbor from a pipeline under Pier 52. The public is advised not to enter the ocean if they notice a brown color in the water. The plume of dark water is moving with the tides and currents from Honolulu Harbor into the Keehi Lagoon. From the lagoon, it is expected to dissipate into the ocean. DOH also advises the public not to consume any of the dead fish that may be found in the area. In response to the spill…

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