Bellingham Cold Storage (BCS) -- situated at the port where two American Seafoods vessels have been docked since Thursday because of an outbreak onboard -- has reported a positive Covid-19 case among its workers, it said Saturday.
The Whatcom County Health Department rapid response team is performing an investigation and interviewing all potential close contacts to the employee who tested positive.
As an additional precaution to the American Seafoods incident, BCS decided to voluntarily test any members of its team facilitating or in proximity to vessel operations.
To date, this is the first positive result, with 40 negative tests completed so far. In addition, the
Stevedoring company, who provides tally record-keeping and stretch wrapping services, also
voluntarily tested all employees working with BCS vessel operations. All results to their
employee tests were negative.
Twenty-five crew members aboard American Seafoods' Northern Jaeger and American Triumph factory trawlers tested positive for the coronavirus last week, a stunning blow to the company, which was already reeling from a mass outbreak on a third vessel last week.
The Northern Jaeger and American Triumph were docked in Bellingham, Washington, where they arrived to offload catch from the Pacific whiting fishery.
The crew members that tested positive are being housed at the isolation and quarantine facility in Bellingham.
The vessels are now headed back to the Port of Seattle.