The following is text of a news release from the American Waterways Operators (AWO):
(ARLINGTON, Va.) — The American Waterways Operators has launched a dedicated COVID-19 webpage containing information and resources to help mitigate the spread of the novel coronavirus and guide the U.S. tugboat, towboat and barge industry in operating safely while continuing to serve the American people during the pandemic.
The COVID-19 webpage includes links to official government public health guidance, best practices for safeguarding vessel operators against the virus, and resources to help maritime transportation companies sustain continued business operations. These resources also include template letters that companies can use to identify their employees as "essential critical infrastructure" personnel consistent with recent Department of Homeland Security guidance, to expedite their work travel as shelter-in-place orders continue to proliferate nationwide.
"As the novel coronavirus presents unprecedented challenges for our industry and our country, it's vitally important that we all work together," said AWO President and CEO Jennifer Carpenter. "There is no one-size-fits-all solution, but AWO is committed to doing everything we can to protect the health and safety of mariners and the public while keeping economically critical maritime commerce flowing. AWO has gathered valuable resources that we want to share not only with our member companies, but with the entire maritime industry and anyone whose business operations could benefit from such guidance in these turbulent times. AWO will continue to monitor the situation and update the webpage whenever new information becomes available."
The COVID-19 resources page can be found at www.AmericanWaterways.com/covid19.