Cited as Essential Critical Workforce, ports exempt from ‘Stay Home, Stay Healthy’ order
VANCOUVER – The Port of Vancouver USA’s marine terminals and cargo operations will remain open under Washington Gov. Jay Inslee’s Stay Home, Stay Healthy order. The facility is an essential business operation and ports are included in the Governor’s Essential Critical Workforce list.
The Stay Home, Stay Healthy order is similar to orders that other governors, in places such as California and New York, issued last week. The proclamation requires every Washingtonian to stay home unless they need to pursue an essential activity, and it closes all businesses except those deemed essential.
“Ports play a critical role in our nation’s supply chain. As much as 75 percent of the products Americans use every day come through a port,” said port CEO Julianna Marler. “Maintaining the movement of cargo and making sure people can get the goods and services they need is essential to our community and our local, national and world-wide economy. These are challenging times, but we are committed to maintaining service levels to our customers and tenants, and port terminals will remain fully operational,” she said.
Marler said ships continue to call at the port and cargo is moving across the docks. “We are appreciative of our security, maintenance, terminal operations and ILWU personnel who are working to keep our marine terminal operational,” she said.
Prior to the governor’s order, the port announced it was closing its administrative offices through April 24 to help control the spread of COVID-19. The administrative office closure remains in effect and the port has asked employees who can work remotely to do so. Port terminal operations have not been affected by the office closure.
Working in coordination with the ILWU, the port’s marine terminals will continue to handle cargo between vessels, trucks and trains.
Terminal workers are practicing social distancing and taking other safety precautions to minimize the risk of COVID-19 exposure. The port has not received any reports of employees, tenants or business partners testing positive for the virus.
The port has added a COVID-19 Response page to its website to provide updated information to employees, tenants and the public on port operations and activities.
Information provided by Port of Vancouver USA.