The Galveston Wharves hosted a multi-agency tabletop exercise on March 2, 2020 to review and coordinate planning, responses and communicatons among the local, state and federal entities that would respond if the coronavirus impacted the Galveston maritime industry.
While no suspected or confirmed novel coronavirus cases have been reported in Galveston County, the Galveston Wharves, the cruise and shipping lines that berth here, and other decision-making entities continuously monitor the situation.
The exercise was well-attended by approximately 55 officials representing a number of agencies, including U.S. Customs and Border Protection, U.S. Coast Guard, the University of Texas Medical Branch, Galveston County Health District, City of Galveston Office of Emergency Management, Galveston County Office of Emergency Management, Texas Department of Emergency Management, Galveston Wharves and various maritime industries, including the cruise lines.
Objectives for this exercise included reviewing coordinated communications procedures in the first 24 hours of any infectious disease being reported by vessel crews in the Houston/Galveston area. They also discussed planning and management for an infectious disease response in our area. A second meeting is scheduled for later in March.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) announced the first case of 2019 novel coronavirus in the United States on January 21, 2020.