Processing plant shut down as 96 seafood workers test postive for COVID 19

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Large outbreak at Cooke/Ocean Beauty joint venture OBI Seafoods in Alaska, USA.

Anchorage Daily News reports that city officials have confirmed that 96 seafood workers from the OBI Seafoods salmon processing plant in Seward have tested positive for the novel coronavirus, causing the plant to temporarily shut down.

The site employs 262 people.

The publication added that Alaska’s state medical officer Dr. Anne Zink said that the cases included 85 nonresident and 11 resident employees.

Last month, OBI Seafoods reported 12 positive cases of COVID-19 in Dillingham, Alaska, at its Wood River canned salmon products processing plant. The facility was formerly operated solely by Cooke-owned Icicle Seafoods.

A merger in late May put ten Ocean Beauty Seafoods and Icicle Seafoods processing plants throughout Alaska under OBI Seafoods’ ownership. Founded in 1910, Ocean Beauty Seafoods is owned by the Bristol Bay Economic Development Corporation and a group of individual owners with experience in the seafood industry. Founded in 1965, Icicle Seafoods, has been owned by Cooke since 2016.