3 new COVID-19 cases at Southeast Alaska seafood plant among 10 statewide Monday

OBI Seafoods’ fish processing plant in Excursion Inlet. (Henry Leasia/KHNS)

A seafood processing company has confirmed three new cases of COVID-19 at a Southeast Alaska plant, among 10 positive tests reported by the state Monday.

The three cases are at a salmon processing plant in Excursion Inlet, a remote spot about 40 miles west of Juneau. The plant is owned by OBI Seafoods, the new company formed by a recent merger of Icicle Seafoods and Ocean Beauty Seafoods.

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The three workers, all non-residents, were tested as part of a routine COVID-19 screening on their sixth day of a 14-day quarantine, said Julianne Curry, a spokeswoman for OBI Seafoods.

All three workers were not showing symptoms but were immediately isolated, she said. Two of the workers lived in a house away from the plant’s bunkhouse, while there was only one other person living with the third worker.

Icicle, Ocean Beauty, two of Alaska’s largest processors, merge salmon operations

“We’re pretty comfortable with our ability to contain the virus there,” Curry said. “Despite that fact, we’re still going above and beyond to make sure that we don’t have a COVID outbreak at the facility.”

Curry said there are 140 workers already at the plant, and the company plans to bring in 40 more.

The state announced one other nonresident case Monday, in a visitor to the Wrangell-Petersburg Census Area. There are six new cases among residents: Three are from Anchorage, one is from Palmer, one is from Wasilla and one is from the North Slope Borough.

Thirteen people are hospitalized who have either tested positive for COVID-19 or are under investigation, which is two fewer than reported Sunday. And there are now 258 active COVID-19 cases, which is 10 fewer than Sunday.

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