News Flash

Planning & Public Works

Posted on: March 13, 2020

Pierce County Ferry Rider Service Update

We are committed to providing safe ferry service to our customers. We are taking precautions to provide a high level of service, while minimizing the potential transmission of the coronavirus known as COVID-19. We follow the direction of Tacoma-Pierce County Health Department, Pierce County Department of Emergency Management and Governor’s Office.

We have implemented the following measures:

  • Based on the requirements below, we expect capacity to be limited to 50 passengers. We typically average 40 passengers per run this time of year.
  • Scanning tickets at the terminal and discontinued the use of plastic screening cards.
  • Cleaning terminals and boats twice a day.
  • Drive-on passengers are required to remain in their vehicles while riding the ferry.
  • Walk-on passengers must use social distancing to remain six feet from each other.

Each Pierce County Ferry vessel requires four crew members to operate – one captain and three deck hands per United States Coast Guard regulations. We have split our crews into two separate work groups. This allows us to quickly know who is working if a situation occurs and to take immediate action. Reduced service is a possibility if the crews are impacted.

As islanders, it is always good to be prepared. Run through “what-if” scenarios and make sure you are prepared in case a situation arises where you don’t have access to the mainland.

Pierce County Emergency Management suggests having emergency kits to sustain you. Build a kit with enough supplies to last for two weeks. Building a kit can start with gathering a few items around your house and using a piece of luggage to store them. Add to the kit as you decide what is necessary.

These resources can help you plan your kit:

During this time, it is important to follow these easy instructions to protect yourself and those around you from transmitting the virus.

  • Wash your hands with soap and warm water for 20 seconds
  • Cover your cough.
  • Stay home when you’re sick.

If you are at a higher risk, take extra measures to distance yourself from other people and stay at home. Groups considered vulnerable during this time include:

  • People with weakened immune systems from medical conditions or medical treatment.
  • Adults over age 60.
  • Pregnant women.

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