MONTREAL -- A longshoreman from the Port of Montreal has tested positive for COVID-19, which forced the cessation of activities at the busy port from Friday night through to Saturday morning.

The Friday night shift at the Port was cancelled while a specialized firm disinfected all Port machinery, as well as common areas.

The Port and its longshoremen's union are carrying out an investigation to trace all Port workers who may have been exposed to the novel coronavirus. Many of those workers may be forced to temporarily withdraw from their duties.

The union says it was informed Friday afternoon by the employee that he had tested positive. The information was quickly shared with the Maritime Employers Association in order to take the necessary precautionary measures.

Depending on the task, up to nine different longshoremen can handle the same equipment at the Port over a 24-hour period, said Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) spokesperson Michel Murray.

The employee with COVID-19 had acted with caution and not reported to work since the onset of influenza-like symptoms. Unlike many cases diagnosed in Quebec, the worker would not have traveled abroad, according to his union.

The Port of Montreal is the busiest one in Quebec and the second busiest in Canada,

This report by The Canadian Press was first published March 27, 2020.