Port Houston announced it was closing two terminals after an employee who worked at both sites tested positive for the coronavirus.
The Bayport and Barbours Cut terminals are closed while an investigation is being conducted, port officials said in a statement.
“The Port Authority has learned that someone who worked at both Barbours Cut and Bayport container terminals tested positive for COVID-19. In an abundance of caution, both public terminals are closed and operations are temporarily suspended while a thorough investigation is being conducted,” according to a statement from the Port of Houston Authority late Wednesday night, March 18.
Port Houston’s other public facilities, as well as the 200-plus private terminals and the Houston Ship Channel, are still operating.
“All decisions on vessel schedules, demurrage, and all others will be determined as soon as possible,” officials said.
The Barbours Cut Container Terminal and the Bayport Container Terminal are both owned and operated by the Port of Houston Authority.
Port Houston is a major economic driver for the Houston area. It is one of the largest U.S. container port on the Gulf of Mexico, handling nearly 70% of the containers moving through the gulf, according to the port authority.
The port was recently awarded nearly $22 million in federal grants for a project at the Bayport Container Terminal.