COVID-19 Outbreak Keeps Norwegian Havyard Shipyard Closed Third Week
With a further increase in the number of COVID-19 cases associated with the shipyard, Norwegian authorities have decided to keep the New Havyard Ship Technology yard in Hellestad closed for at least an additional 10 days. Local authorities had ordered the yard to suspend activities at the end of September as they worked to stop an outbreak of COVID-19 in the community.
The outbreak began in mid-September when Hellestad authorities announced a case of the virus traced to Havyard and also quarantined 10 close contacts to the person who had tested positive. By the end of the month when authorities suspended work at the yard, the number had risen to 17 and days later it skyrocketed to 56 cases traced to the yard just two weeks after the first case had been diagnosed.
After the closure of the yard, Havyard reports that is has worked closely with local health authorities to clarify the extent of the spreading of the virus. A total of 495 people reportedly have been tested. As of October 8, the number of people associated with the yard diagnosed with the infection has risen to a total of 75 people.
The Hyllestad municipality, pursuant to Norway’s Infection Control Act, decided to keep the yard closed until October 19, 2020. The yard also noted that the decision may be extended until it is deemed safe to resume production.
The shipyard’s owner cautioned in its statement to the Oslo stock exchange that for vessels are being outfitted at the yard, it is foreseeable that the extended closure will lead to further delay in deliveries. The extent of the delays, if any, however, will depend it said on the extent of the shutdown and measures that might be implemented to make up for the lost production time.