TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) – Port Tampa Bay officials tell 8 On Your Side they’re increasing efforts inside the terminals to prevent the potential spread of COVID-19 and other viruses.
So far, there have been no confirmed cases connected to Port Tampa Bay.
The Florida Department of Health announced Tuesday a 69-year-old Broward County woman has tested positive for COVID-19. She’s the third employee from Metro Cruise Services, a company that greets cruise passengers at Port Everglades in Ft. Lauderdale to become infected.
The top official from Port Tampa Bay said passengers planning to board cruise ships should not panic, but rather make decisions based on their personal situations.
“If I was a cruise passenger and I’m not 80 years or older with some of the conditions the CDC has outlined very clearly, I wouldn’t have any problem taking a cruise,” Port Tampa Bay President and CEO Paul Anderson said.
The port invited 8 On Your Side to a demonstration inside a terminal showing its new use of mPact Environmental Solutions two-step disinfection and long term protection system.
“You can’t see it, you can’t feel it, it’s not something you cant touch but it continues to kill for 30 days,” Justin Evans from mPact said of the product being sprayed on every chair in the terminal. “This should be added to a normal cleaning regimen, no matter what they’re doing whether its schools, prison, transportation hubs.”
Evans said his company’s disinfecting product has already been lab-tested for the new infectious respiratory disease spreading around the globe that according to the CDC has now infected about 650 people in the United States.
“I’m confident this product can protect people from surface to human contraction of the coronavirus,” Evans told 8 On Your Side.
As was the case in South Florida over the weekend, the CDC would make the call to prevent a ship with potentially infected passengers or crew members from docking at Port Tampa Bay.
“We have a place for a ship to be quarantined both at sea and here at the port,” Anderson said.
A travel advisory Sunday from the Department of State said “U.S. citizens, particularly travelers with underlying health conditions, should not travel by cruise ship. CDC notes increased risk of infection of COVID-19 in a cruise ship environment.”
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