American Seafoods Company, a Seattle-based trade group of pollock, cod and hake fish vessels, stated via a series of press releases between May 30 and June 5 that more than 100 crew members have tested positive for COVID-19 between three of its ships.
The company first announced May 30 that a crew member aboard its American Dynasty vessel, which departed Seattle May 13, tested positive for the coronavirus after reporting to the ship’s medic and then taken ashore for evaluation. As a result, the company tested the rest of the crew, and one day later announced that an additional 85 crew members were confirmed positive for COVID-19, nine other cases were pending results and that American Dynasty had returned to port. Six of those pending cases ended up positive, bringing the ship’s total count of COVID-19 cases to 92 out of 126 crew members.
On June 3, the company said that crew members aboard two other vessels, the American Triumph and the Northern Jaeger, were being tested as a precautionary measure. The Triumph docked that same day in Bellingham, WA, just south of Vancouver, and the Jaeger ported June 4, while all American Dynasty crew have been quarantining in Seattle facilities.
And on June 5, American Seafoods reported 21 positive tests on the Jeager and four on the Triumph. Each of those vessels has a crew of more than 110. Both ships were anchored in Bellingham on June 5 before heading to their home port of Seattle by Saturday morning. All crew who tested positive had been placed in quarantine off the vessels.
“We will make sure those crew members in quarantine receive proper medical attention, housing, meals, and other essential care, and help them stay in contact with their families,” said Mikel Durham, American Seafood Company CEO. “We have sought advice on how to improve our crew safety net. We have extended the quarantine before going to sea to 14 days, and we will require two negative PCR (nasal swab) tests before crew members can board or re-board a vessel. We continue to work with our public health partners to make appropriate adjustments to our protocols based on the growing body of knowledge about this virus.”
The company said that before going to sea in mid-May, all crew members on both the Northern Jaeger and American Triumph were quarantined and tested. Only individuals testing negative were allowed aboard.
American Seafoods Co. has six total vessels in its fleet.