Correction: An earlier version of this article incorrectly stated nonresidents tested positive in the census area of Hoonah, Angoon and Yakutat based on earlier data from Alaska Department of Health and Social Services. The state updated the listing for three positive tests to reflect they occurred in the Haines Borough. Officials in Hoonah, Angoon and Yakutat all said in separate phone interviews the positive cases were not in their municipality, census area or place of business.
An OBI Seafoods spokesperson confirmed three nonresident COVID-19 cases reported Monday were workers at the company’s Excursion Inlet facility.
All three people were tested as part of the company’s protective plan, which includes a test prior to traveling to Alaska as well as a mid-quarantine test after their arrival, said Julianne Curry, public affairs manager for OBI Seafood.
“I think it’s important to note that all three of these people were asymptomatic,” Curry said, adding that it was proof the protective plan was working as designed.
Curry said the workers had been in Excursion Inlet, which is about 35 miles northwest of Juneau, for six days. Once the positive results were known, the workers were quickly isolated and a cleaning and sanitation program began.
“The state has determined that there’s next to no risk for the others that were in the quarantine group,” Curry said.
She said it’s been relatively easy to isolate the three workers, who were the first people at Excursion Inlet to test positive for COVID-19. One of the workers lived in the bunkhouse, Curry said, while the other two workers lived together on company property.
“There’s one benefit to really not having very strong salmon runs in Southeast Alaska this year,” Curry said. “One of the benefits of that is that our facilities are not operating at maximum capacity. That means we have a lot more space to be able to isolate, to be able to quarantine.”
In addition to those cases, the state reported a visitor to the Wrangell-Petersburg Census Area had tested positive for COVID-19. Six new cases of COVID-19 involving Alaska residents were also reported.
The new cases were distributed among Anchorage, Matanuska-Susitna Borough and North Slope Borough with three cases, two cases and one cases respectively, according to Alaska Department of Health and Social Service’s COVID-19 dashboard.
The single-day increase is the lowest since June 15, according to DHSS data.