A total of 85 crew members aboard the American Seafoods fishing vessel American Triumph, which arrived in Unalaska, Alaska, tested positive for COVID-19, according to the city of Unalaska.
The 112-member vessel arrived in Unalaska on July 16 to offload frozen product, where seven crew members had reported symptoms consistent with coronavirus, and six tested positive for the virus.
Following further screening, 79 additional crew members tested positive on July 19.
“This is Alaska’s largest discrete COVID-19 outbreak to date,” said Dr. Joe McLaughlin, Alaska’s State Epidemiologist. “The exceptionally high attack rate among crewmembers underscores how efficiently this virus spreads in congregate settings.”
Charter flights are in the process of transporting the 34 crew members with negative tests from Unalaska to Anchorage to begin a period of quarantine and symptom monitoring, according to the city.
The vessel and the crew members with positive tests are en route to the Alaska port city of Seward with American Seafoods medical support personnel on board. All members of the crew have now departed Unalaska, either by charter flight or on the vessel, with the crew expected to arrive in Seward by Wednesday. After arrival in Seward, crew members will be transported directly to their Anchorage isolation location for further care and monitoring, according to American Seafoods.
The Triumph will be deep cleaned and sanitized as soon as crew members are transferred from the vessel to a quarantine facility in Anchorage, Suzanne Lagoni, a spokeswoman for the company, told IntraFish.
“Our primary concern is the safety and health of all our crew members and the community of Unalaska," said American Seafoods CEO Mikel Durham.
The vessel is one of two owned by American Seafoods that emerged from lockdown in June, after crews tested positive for COVID-19.