GALVESTON

Six employees who worked at a Shell Offshore Inc. platform in the Gulf of Mexico have tested positive for coronavirus, officials said.

In response, personnel on the platform has been reduced to minimum levels and all employees are being tested for the virus as well, Shell spokeswoman Cynthia Babski said.

Nine people were evacuated to an onshore medical facility for testing and treatment, but only six tested positive, Babski said.

Babski declined to say when the employees were evacuated or to which medical facility, or where the people who had tested positive were staying.

The nine people who were suspected of having the virus were isolated immediately on the platform and were flown one by one to the mainland, Babski said.

“Shell’s priority is the safety and health of our people and the safe operations of all our businesses,” Babski said.

On May 20, Shell began requiring all personnel traveling to offshore company-operated platforms to get tested, but the employees who tested positive already were offshore when that policy went into effect, Babski said.

In March, Shell increased its shift length from 14 to 21 days for production assets and from 21 to 28 days for mobile offshore drilling units in response to coronavirus, Babski said.

Babski wouldn’t comment on the medical condition of the people who tested positive, citing privacy laws.

Keri Heath: 409-683-5241; keri.heath@galvnews.com or on Twitter @HeathKeri. 

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