Norwegian Shipyard Remains Closed as COVID-19 Cases Top 56

shipyard in Norway suspends work due to growing COVID-19 outbreak
Havyrd facility (File photo courtesy of Havyard)

Published Oct 5, 2020 3:58 PM by The Maritime Executive

Work will remain suspended for at least a second week at the New Havyard Ship Technology yard in Norway as the region works to control an outbreak of COVID-19. Local authorities ordered the yard to suspend work last week as a contact tracing effort linked the outbreak to employees at the yard.

The Norwegian news agency NPK is reporting this evening that the total number of cases has now risen to 56 traced to the yard just two weeks after the Hellestad municipality announced it hard traced the first case to Havyard. In total, more than 500 people are now reported in quarantine across the small municipality.

Hellestad authorities announced on September 19 that a case of the virus had been traced to Havyard. At the time, they said that 10 close contacts of the person had also been quarantined, but municipal officials believed there had been no further close contacts. By the end of the month, however, the total number of cases in the municipality had risen to 10 with more than 150 people in quarantine. At least four of the confirmed cases traced to the shipyard. As a result, the shipyard placed a temporary halt on all work.

The shipyard’s parent company said after the closure in an announcement to the Oslo stock exchange, that the yard has worked closely with local health authorities to clarify the extent of the virus spread. Approximately 200 people had been tested and at the time they reported approximately 17 people associated with the yard have been diagnosed with the infection. 

Based on the growing number of cases, municipal officials have ordered the shipyard to remain closed at least until October 10. The municipality reported today that everyone at the yard has been tested and that they are planning further retesting later this week.

The shipyard’s owner cautioned in its statement that the closure might result in delivery delays. While they hope to implement measures to make up for the lost production time, they cannot be certain until the full extent of the outbreak and closure is determined.