Ocean Beauty worker first to contract COVID-19 in Cordova, Alaska

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Salmon season is a few weeks away.

A seafood processing worker who arrived in Alaska to work, only to become Cordova’s first confirmed case of the COVID-19 virus, was identified as infected in routine testing by Ocean Beauty Seafoods, reports The Cordova Times.

The worker was placed into isolated quarantine. The plant is placed eastern corner of Prince William Sound and processes fresh, frozen and canned salmon.

The small Alaskan village is key to Copper River salmon fishery which usually opens in mid-May and ends sometime in September.

The season starts with chinook salmon, then moves to sockeye salmon, and ends with coho salmon.

There have been increasing concerns in remote Alaska coastal communities that spring and summer salmon fisheries will bring in an influx of processors and fishermen who could spread the coronavirus to areas that have been free of the coronavirus.

Last month, there were calls in Southwestern Alaska, Dillingham, to closure of this year’s $300 million Bristol Bay. The town has facilities for fish processing, cold storage for Icicle, Peter Pan, and Trident’s fish processing plants.

During the fishing season, the towns’ 7000 population can double, even triple.