Bristol Bay wants mandatory testing and quarantine

    Dillingham, Alaska (KINY) - Residents and officials asked the state for adequate testing and an enforceable quarantine for those involved in the fishing industry.

    Bristol Bay had its first confirmed case of the virus of a seasonal worker for Trident Seafoods on May 15.

    Multiple regional entities said if they did not get a response from the state for proper protections the commercial fishery should be shut down this year.

    Trident implemented their own testing and quarantine protocols.

    Norm Van Vactor of the Bristol Bay Economic Development Corporation said the state requirements for incoming fishermen still fall far short.

    "This incident exemplifies why testing and enforced quarantine must be a requirement for all incoming fishermen, a much more vulnerable group facing more challenges than processors when it comes to sanitation, adequate quarantine, and health-care and evacuation support."

    Van Vactor said fishermen continue to arrive each day without adequate protections in place.

    "The time is up and where is the enforcement," he asked.

    Recent research shows up to three percent of seafood industry workers may be asymptomatic carriers of COVID-19.

    A contingent of state and federal health officials visited Dillingham Thursday to discuss the situation.







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