After providing testing for 376 workers at our five Newport, Ore. facilities, 53 Pacific Seafood Team members and 71 locally-based contractors have tested positive for COVID-19. The vast majority, 95%, did not report any symptoms and none of our workers have been hospitalized. All international, seasonal workers have tested negative for COVID-19 and have not yet started work in any of the facilities. Oregon Health Authority indicates the risk to the general public is low.
Pacific Seafood takes our responsibility to do everything possible to protect the continued health and safety of our workers seriously. Positive test results absent outward symptoms confirm new CDC estimates that 40% of COVID-19 transmissions occur before the onset of symptoms, and that 35% of individuals who contract the virus never show symptoms at all. The CDC advises that critical infrastructure workers may be permitted to continue work following potential exposure to COVID-19, provided they remain asymptomatic and additional precautions are implemented to protect them and the community, but at Pacific Seafood we are committed to going above and beyond for our team members, contractors, and our coastal community.
Operations remain suspended for the time being at all five locations, including Pacific Whiting, Pacific Shrimp, Pacific Fillet, Pacific Surimi, and Pacific Bio Products. We look forward to resuming operation at all facilities as soon as we are able to confirm the safety of our team members, fleet, and community. We will be performing detailed contract tracing to inform those decisions. Initial results show that positive tests are concentrated at the Pacific Shrimp processing facility location.
Pacific Seafood is committed to continue to expand efforts to mitigate asymptomatic spread of COVID-19 will in the future require advance testing of all team members and contractors in Newport. We will also resume all existing protocols as detailed below that go above and beyond current CDC guidance including:
•Robust sanitation and cleaning protocols, with dedicated staff cleaning common touch areas every hour, twice daily more extensive cleanings, and break room cleaning before and after every small group rest and meal breaks
•Face coverings provided to and worn by all workers
•Plastic face shields provided to and worn in all production-related positions
•Daily temperature checks/health screenings at shift starts
•Barriers installed between production workstations to ensure social distancing
•Strict protocols for hand sanitizing and wearing face coverings while on company premises
• Staggered shifts to limit contact and maximize social distancing
•Restricted access to outside visitors
We have taken additional steps in response to specific concerns in Newport, including:
•Temporarily suspending operations to perform professional cleaning and sanitation services
• Provided free testing to all workers at our own expense, freeing local resources for use by those
on the front lines
• Retesting all employees who tested negative before resuming work
• Coordinating with local health officials to appropriately treat and monitor workers who test positive for COVID-19, and ensuring they do not return to work until receiving a verified negative COVID result
•Conducting appropriate contact tracing to ensure that any issues are isolated to areas outside our facilities
We ask for prayers for our affected team members, contractors and our community.
information provided by: Pacific Seafood Media Release