SitNews - Stories in the News - Ketchikan, Alaska

Positive case of COVID-19 confirmed in seasonal fisheries worker


May 17, 2020
Sunday PM

(SitNews) Juneau, Alaska - A positive case of COVID-19 was announced yesterday in an out-of-state individual who had recently arrived in Dillingham to work seasonally for Trident Seafoods. 

The case was discovered Saturday when several workers quarantining in the same location were tested for COVID-19 at the end of their 14-day quarantine. Before workers can be released from quarantine, they need to meet all requirements outlined in the City of Dillingham ordinance including testing requirements. 

First Bank - Ketchikan, Alaska

Only one worker in the group tested positive; that person was immediately isolated from the others. Trident Seafoods was arranging transportation for the worker to leave Dillingham yesterday. Although the individual is doing well and does not require hospitalization, Trident determined it would be best to transport the individual out of the community out of an abundance of caution to help protect Bristol Bay communities.  

“They haven’t exposed the community because they haven’t been out in the community,” Carpenter said. “This shows the benefit of these rules. These workers did everything right and followed the quarantine and testing requirements laid out in Trident’s industry plan.” 

The remaining workers at the quarantine location tested negative. Because the entire group are considered close contacts to the case, they will now observe another 14-day quarantine to ensure the disease does not spread into the community. While in quarantine, all individuals will be monitored by local public health nurses and will not be able to leave quarantine or expose anyone outside the quarantine group. Before ending quarantine, they will need to satisfy the requirements of the City of Dillingham ordinance and, according to Trident, receive a minimum of two negative tests including one at the conclusion of their quarantine period. 

Public health nurses have completed the contact investigation and report that no one at the quarantine location had any outside contacts. Dillingham Public Health Nurse Gina Carpenter said the workers arrived as a group, immediately traveled to their place of quarantine and have not had any contacts with anyone else since then. Groceries and any other necessities were delivered; no one left quarantine for any reason. 

Free testing is available to the community through a partnership between Public Health Nursing, Bristol Bay Area Health Corporation, the City of Dillingham and Capstone Clinic. Call your health care provider or the question line at the hospital, (907) 842-9440, to ask about testing if you are experiencing any symptoms. That number, provided by the Bristol Bay Area Health Corporation (BBAHC), is also available to support anyone in Dillingham who has questions or concerns. If you don’t have symptoms but still want to get tested, a new clinic is now set up near the boat harbor. Walk-in testing is available there.

On May 6, 2020, Cordova confirmed Alaska's first positive case of a seasonal worker. The individual traveled from out of state in order to work for their employer, Ocean Beauty Seafoods. The case in Cordova is not counted as an Alaska case since the person is not an Alaskan resident. 

To date in Alaska there have been 396 positive cases with a total of 344 recovered. There have been 43 hospitalizations and 10 deaths. As of May 16, there have been 34,651 tests administered statewide.


On the Web:

Total statewide cases - updated daily

Edited By Mary Kauffman, SitNews

Source of News:

Alaska Emergency Operations Center

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Ketchikan, Alaska

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