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Unalaska's COVID-19 Case Count Rises As City Reports Third Positive Case Related To UniSea

Hope McKenney/KUCB


City officials reported a new positive case of COVID-19 in Unalaska Friday, bringing the positive local case count to 101.

The individual testing positive is a UniSea employee and has been in quarantine since arriving on the island on Aug. 23, the city said in a statement. 

In compliance with the company's COVID-19 mitigation plan, the employee received a negative COVID-19 test before traveling to Unalaska, and the positive result was received at the mid-point of their quarantine period.

The individual is now in isolation and is being monitored by staff from Iliuliuk Family and Health Services.

This is the third reported case related to UniSea this week. On Monday, an employee of the seafood processor tested positive for the virus after arriving in Unalaska on Aug. 17. And on Wednesday, the city reported that a family member of a UniSea employee tested positive for the virus after arriving on the island on Aug. 21.

To date, this marks 101 positive cases tested locally, only four of which are currently active, according to the city. However, the Department of Health and Social Services reports that the positive local case count remains at 91: six residents, and 85 non-residents.

"The total reported by State DHSS for Unalaska doesn't match the cumulative positive persons tested locally," the city said. "[That's] because some of those individuals may have previously tested positive before arriving in Unalaska, so were not counted as an additional positive person by the state, or because of other intricacies in how the state tracks cases."

In addition to the three positive cases related to UniSea reported by the city this week, a family member of an Alyeska Seafoods employee tested positive for the virus in mid-August, and a family member of a Westward Seafoods employee tested positive in late July. 

85 cases were reported among American Seafoods crew members, eight among Icicle Seafoods employees, one was a Resolve-Magone Marine employee, one was a Pacific Stevedoring employee, and one was anemployee of the Alaska Marine Highway System who tested positive for the virus in Unalaska on the M/V Tustumena's first ferry trip of the season.


Hope McKenney is a public radio news director, reporter, producer and host based in the Aleutian Islands, Alaska.
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