News & Events for Chesapeake Bay

USCG to all Mariners regarding Novel Coronavirus - Update (Change 3)

Date Posted: 2020-03-17
Source: USCG

Coast Guard Sector Virginia continues to monitor the novel coronavirus epidemic in coordination with our partner government agencies. Coast Guard Headquarters has issued an updated MSIB 02-20 Change 23. The full contents of that message are contained in this MSIB. This MSIB updates Sector Virginia MSIB 20-064.

An outbreak of respiratory illness caused by a novel coronavirus (COVID-19) may affect mariners and maritime commerce. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has updated their Interim Guidance for Ships on Managing Suspected Coronavirus Disease 2019 (see and Cruise Ship Travel (see

Illness of a person onboard any vessel that may adversely affect the safety of a vessel or port facility is a hazardous condition per 33 CFR 160.216 and must be reported immediately to the U.S. Coast Guard Captain of the Port (COTP). Cases of persons who exhibit symptoms consistent with COVID-19 must be reported to the COTP.

The Coast Guard considers it a hazardous condition under 33 CFR 160.216 if anyone, regardless of where they have been or who they have interacted with, shows symptoms of COVID-19 or other flu like illness. This requires immediate notification to the nearest Coast Guard COTP. Make local notifications about hazardous conditions to the Coast Guard by contacting the Sector Virginia Command Center on VHF-FM Channel 16 or by calling 757-483-8567. Routine, non-urgent inquiries may be made by contacting the Port Safety and Security Branch at 757-668-5525 or [email protected].

Per 42 CFR 71.21, vessels destined for a U.S. port are required to report to the CDC any sick or deceased crew/passengers during 15 days prior to arrival at the U.S. port. Guidance to vessels to report deaths and illnesses to the CDC can be found at: U.S. flagged commercial vessels are also advised to report ill crewmembers in accordance with the requirements of each foreign port called upon. The responsible CDC station for the Port of Virginia is the CDC Washington DC Station, which can be reached at 703-661-1320.

Presidential Proclamations have placed entry restrictions from persons arriving from or through the following countries: Iran, China (excluding Hong Kong and Macau), the European states within the Schengen Area (Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, and Switzerland), and beginning at 11:59 p.m. eastern standard daylight savings time on March 16, 2020, United Kingdom and Republic of Ireland.

Vessel owners/operators and local stakeholders should be aware of the following:

1. On March 13, 2020, Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) announced that member companies were voluntarily suspending cruise ship operations from U.S. ports of call for 30 days. The CDC issued a No Sail Order on March 14, 2020 to all cruise ships that had not voluntarily suspended operations. The Coast Guard will closely coordinate with CDC to facilitate a safe and expeditious return of passengers onboard cruise ships that are underway and bound for U.S. ports.

2. Maritime commerce is vital to the U.S. economy and the Coast Guard has the responsibility to safely enable the uninterrupted flow of maritime cargo.

  • Non-passenger commercial vessels that have been to the countries noted above or embarked crewmembers from the countries noted above within the last 14 days, with no sick crewmembers, will be permitted to enter the U.S. and conduct normal operations, provided that crewmembers remain aboard the vessel except to conduct specific activities directly related to vessel cargo or provisioning operations. U.S. citizens or any other persons listed in Section 2 of Presidential Proclamation "Suspension of Entry as Immigrants and Nonimmigrants of Certain Additional Persons Who Pose a Risk of Transmitting 2019 Novel Coronavirus", for example crewmembers with a transit and/or crewmember visa, may be permitted to disembark the vessel to conduct vessel operations pier side or for the immediate and continuous transit through the U.S. to another country. When entering the U.S. all persons must be cleared by Customs and Border Protection (CBP) and, if applicable, CDC. Crewmembers without the appropriate visas will generally be required to remain onboard unless otherwise cleared for entry by CBP and, if applicable, CDC.

  • Non-passenger commercial vessels that have been to the countries noted above or embarked crewmembers from the countries noted above within the last 14 days, and do have sick crewmembers should expect delays and need to work with local health and port officials prior to entry.

3. All persons that have been in or through a country listed above may be subject to CDC screening prior to disembarkation.

Vessel owners and operators should be aware of the following:

  • The Coast Guard will continue to review all "Notice of Arrivals" in accordance with current policies and will communicate any concerns stemming from sick or deceased crew or passengers to their Coast Guard chain of command and the cognizant CDC quarantine station, who will coordinate with local health authorities.
  • All commercial vessel operators and mariners are encouraged to exercise due diligence during daily operations and highly encouraged to follow the CDC Interim Guidance for Ships on Managing Suspected Coronavirus Diseases 2019.
  • Vessel masters shall inform Coast Guard boarding teams of any ill crewmembers on their vessel prior to embarking the team.
  • Local industry stakeholders, in partnership with their Coast Guard COTP, should review and be familiar with section 5310 Procedures for Vessel Quarantine and Isolation, and Section 5320 - Procedures for Security Segregation of Vessels in their Area Maritime Security Plan.
  • Local industry stakeholders, in partnership with their Coast Guard COTP, should review and be familiar with their Marine Transportation System Recovery Plan.
  • Maritime facility operators are reminded that they are not permitted to impede the embarkation/ disembarkation of crew members as permitted under Seafarer's access regulations. This authority resides with CBP, Coast Guard, or the CDC for medical matters. Facility operators should contact their local CBP, Coast Guard, or CDC/health department offices if they have a specific request to restrict a crew member’s access.
  • The Coast Guard recommends that people review the CDC travel guidance (see and the U.S. Department of State (DoS) Travel Advisories related to COVID-19 at .

Should you have any questions or concerns regarding this matter, contact United States Coast Guard Sector Virginia Port Safety and Security Branch at (757) 668-5525 or [email protected].


March 17, 2020
TECHNICAL SUPPORT BRANCH NAVIGATION BULLETIN NO. 20-45 NOTICE TO NAVIGATION INTERESTS: Tennessee-Tombigbee Waterway Black Warrior/Tombigbee Rivers  Alabama River Appalachicola-Chatahoochee-Flint Rivers Coastal Navigation Projects  Alabama, Mississippi, Florida, Georgia

Notice is given to mariners, in response to the recent COVID-19 (Corona Virus) event, the Mobile District is working to maintain commercial navigation during this national crisis. The District is reducing manpower at project offices and the district office to mitigate potential spreading of the virus, these positions are primarily administrative and technical support personnel.
All locks will continue to be manned to maintain current levels of performance for our users. Inland surveying operations will continue to identify shoaling as recent high water levels continue to fall.
All coastal dredging and surveying operations will continue across a number of our projects to keep channels open. Monitor eHydro and future navigation bulletins to stay abreast of the current situation
Respective project points of contact will remain the same as in previous navigation notices for those projects.
The Mobile District website has additional contact information for the locks and access to eHydro:
For additional information, contact Mrs. Ashley Kleinschrodt at the Mobile District Office (CESAM-OP-TN) at (251) 694-3726 for ASHLEY N. KLEINSCHRODT Chief, Navigation Section U.S. ARMY CORPS OF ENGINEERS - MOBILE DISTRICT P.O.BOX 2288, MOBILE. AL. 36628-0001 http://sam. mill

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