A growing number of workers arriving into the state of Alaska ahead of this summer's busy salmon harvesting season are testing positive for coronavirus.

The Alaska Department of Health and Social Serivces (DHHS) on Sunday announced two new cases were discovered over the weekend, bringing the total number of non-resident cases of coronavirus in the seafood industry to five, out of a total of 10 non-resident cases.

On Saturday the Bristol Bay city of Dillingham, Alaska confirmed its first positive case of the coronavirus -- an out-of-state employee of Seattle-based Trident Seafoods.

The worker, who was in the town in preparation for the upcoming wild salmon season, has been under mandated quarantine since May 1 at a Trident Seafoods facility, as per requirements of the City of Dillingham.

The worker tested positive for Covid-19 at the end of his 14-day quarantine period. Other workers sharing the facility tested negative.

Alaska Chief Medical Officer Anne Zink said the seafood cases shows the safeguards in place are working.

“We know this is concerning to hear about another seafood industry case, but we continue to be reassured that these cases are being detected and contained,” said Zink.

“All of the safeguards designed to prevent COVID-19 from spreading or entering new communities while allowing essential business to continue in Alaska are helping detect cases before these individuals leave quarantine.”

In the United States in addition to Trident and Ocean Beauty, High Liner Foods, Pacific Seafood, Bornstein Seafoods and Blue Harvest Fisheries have all had employees experience cases.

Chilean salmon processors Blumar and Camanchaca both reported outbreaks, as did Norwegian salmon group Leroy Seafood.

Most recently, Thai Union, which owns Chicken of the Sea, John West and King Oscar among several other subsidiaries, closed a cannery in Ghana after an employee tested positive for Covid-19. The infection reportedly extended to over 500 people, accounting for 11 percent of the overall cases in the country.

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