For Immediate Release Release # CV-29
July 24, 2020
OBI Seafoods Taking Measures To Protect Seward Residents
Seward, Alaska – As of today, OBI Seafoods in Seward has identified 98 positive COVID-19 cases, and most of those individuals have already been transported to Anchorage for company-provided medical oversight and monitored isolation. There were 11 local Seward resident employees of OBI included in that number, nine of whom have chosen to remain in Seward for their isolation period rather than transfer to Anchorage with the others. The Seward resident employees are being isolated in their homes, and are being closely monitored and supported by OBI medical personnel and the Seward Community Health Center. None of the 98 employees have been hospitalized, and the majority of them are asymptomatic.
Today, the DHSS Division of Public Health informed the City of Seward that contact tracing for all positive Seward OBI employees has been completed, and anyone who may have been a close contact of the employees has been informed. All employees who tested negative have been re-tested, and will continue to be tested every three days until no additional positive cases are identified. All employees who tested negative are currently under quarantine, and those who live in company housing are being monitored by a company medical provider. In addition, OBI has expanded their testing program to include the household members of employees.
Out of an abundance of caution, upon learning of the first positive case, OBI immediately closed the processing facility for deep cleaning and disinfection. The facility continues to operate as a closed campus. OBI is in constant communication with the State of Alaska Section of Epidemiology and Unified Command, as well as the City of Seward and local healthcare providers.
All residents of Seward and the surrounding community are encouraged to make thoughtful decisions relating to their health and safety: maintain a six foot distance, wear a mask, wash your hands, avoid large gatherings, and keep your social bubble small.
If you believe you have even mild symptoms, or think you may have been exposed to one of the individuals who has tested positive, please contact your healthcare provider for screening and instructions. Several healthcare facilities in Seward remain poised to provide testing, including Seward Community Health Center, Providence Seward Medical Center, Glacier Family Medicine, and North Star. Anyone wishing to be tested is encouraged to call ahead to make an appointment.