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Six Fish Processing Plant Employees And Two U.S. Seafoods Crewmembers Test Positive For COVID-19


On Friday, the City of Unalaska reported eight new cases of COVID-19 among employees at two local seafood processing plants and crewmembers of a United States Seafoods trawler.

Five of the individuals are employed at Alyeska Seafoods and arrived in Unalaska by charter flight on Dec. 1.  Another works at UniSea and arrived on island by commercial flight on Dec. 2, the city said in a press release. All employees have been in quarantine since their arrival, and tested positive for the virus on Thursday.

All six individuals are in isolation and are being monitored by staff from Iliuliuk Family and Health Services, and contact tracing is underway.

The two remaining individuals who tested positive are crewmembers on a U.S. Seafoods fishing vessel currently in port in Unalaska, the city said.

They are in isolation on the vessel and staff from the clinic are testing the remaining crew on board.

"We have operated under a safety plan approved by the State of  Alaska to prevent a case of COVID-19 on our vessel and have strict protocols to prevent exposure of the  community, should a case arise," U.S. Seafoods said in a statement. "We are working hard to ensure that those protections are maintained and  effective. We are also working with our medical provider who is coordinating with the State of Alaska and the  community to ensure that our crew receive the best medical care possible to address their illness and to  minimize further spread of the virus among the crew." 

To date, this marks 120 cases of the coronavirus in Unalaska, 12 of which are currently active. The city's local risk factor remains at "high."

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