On Friday, May 29th, in the port of Bellingham, Washington, one crew member of a 272-foot trawler known as The American Dynasty was admitted to the hospital for treatment of the coronavirus (COVID-19). Consequently, the company tested the rest of the crew under their COVID-19 response plan, only to find an additional 85 crew members also tested positive for the virus. According to the press release from American Seafoods, all of the crew members are being quarantined and are in lockdown, under the care of medical personnel after returning to the Port of Seattle.
Mikel Durham, the CEO of American Seafoods has stated that the crew members have access to “any required medical care,” they have also put in place procedures to prepare themselves in the event of a virus outbreak. American Seafoods vessels report that they have an isolation room and a supply of medical equipment, including surgical and N95 masks, protective gowns and face shields or goggles, thermometers, pulse oximeters, and medications for crew members.
The American Dynasty is working with the U.S. Coast Guard, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the Seattle/King County Health Department, Whatcom County Health Department, and the Port of Seattle to investigate the root of the outbreak and how it occurred. The coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreaks among workers in the seafood industry have been reported by countless companies, including Trident Seafoods, Ocean Beauty Seafoods, Peter Pan Seafoods, High Liner Foods, Pacific Seafood, Thai Union, Bornstein Seafoods, Bristol Seafood, and Blue Harvest Fisheries. It is vital that all necessary precautions are taken to protect not only workers but the food and consumers. Durham also said all crew members were screened and tested through the University of Washington before they boarded a vessel. Suzanne Lagoni, the spokesperson for American Seafoods, said there had been no other positive tests on any of the company’s vessels. Only those who have tested negative for the virus were allowed to board the vessels.