Joint Base Elmendorf Richardson, Alaska – A positive case of COVID-19 was announced today in an out-of-state resident who had recently arrived in Cordova to work seasonally for Ocean Beauty Seafoods.
The case was detected during routine testing done May 1 by the individual’s employer, Ocean Beauty, while the employee was in quarantine. The results were returned earlier today and the employee was immediately isolated from all other employees and anyone else in Cordova.
This was the second test for this particular worker under the company’s prevention plan; the first test, conducted on April 20 in Seattle before the individual traveled to Alaska, was negative. The individual was not experiencing symptoms during either test.
The State of Alaska is currently reviewing more than 1,800 plans submitted by industries who are bringing employees from out of state to work in critical industries as part of the requirements under Alaska’s Health Mandate 10. Ocean Beauty Seafoods submitted a plan that was reviewed by the State of Alaska.
“Our number one priority is the safety of Alaskans,” said Alaska Department of Health and Social Services Commissioner Adam Crum. “In order to achieve our goal of protecting all Alaskans, while allowing critical industries like fishing to continue, we are working hard with all of our community and industry partners to approve plans that are as comprehensive as possible and provide strong protections for our coastal communities.”
The individual who tested positive is currently isolated from all other employees and local residents. The State of Alaska Department of Health and Social Services, with the Section of Epidemiology and local public health nurses, is currently investigating the case and working with Ocean Beauty to contact anyone who may have had contact with the individual.
The individual was in quarantine but according to the current quarantine rules was allowed to have limited contact, with social distancing, with a small group of employees from the company while they were working. All of those workers will be tested again today.
The community of Cordova is also offering testing. Individuals who have arrived to Cordova within the last 14 days can get free COVID-19 testing. Individuals who are not new arrivals to the state may also get tested if they show symptoms of COVID-19. Testing times and locations are as follows:
- Mondays and Wednesdays, 2-4 p.m. at Ilanka Community Health Center
- Tuesdays and Thursdays, 2-4 p.m. at Cordova Community Medical Center ambulance bay
The testing that detected this particular case was done by Ocean Beauty.
Federal partners shipped several point of care analyzers earlier this week to the State of Alaska to prepare for the fishing season. One 16-port Cepheid analyzer will be sent to Cordova later this week to support surveillance and testing throughout the fishing season. The other analyzers will be distributed to fishing hub communities throughout the state.