FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
May 18, 2020
Media Contact: Claudia Murphy, Whatcom Unified Command PIO
Phone: (360) 815-2701
E-mail address: WUC_JIC@co.whatcom.wa.us
Confirmed COVID-19 Case aboard Fishing Vessel in Whatcom County, MAY 29
BELLINGHAM, WA – On Thursday, May 28, 2020, a fishing vessel from American Seafoods docked in Bellingham. An ill crew member was transported to PeaceHealth St. Joseph Medical Center in Bellingham, tested positive for COVID-19, and was admitted to the hospital today for further treatment.
The crew member reported symptoms as the vessel came into Bellingham on Thursday evening. The crew member was transported to the Peace Health this morning. American Seafoods is proactively taking other crew members who were close contacts to a quarantine facility in King County and retesting them.
According to American Seafoods, the company has a response plan in the event of COVID-19 and it was activated. The company’s plan includes testing all crew members on board, as well as agreements with an isolation and quarantine facility in King County. American Seafoods is working closely with the Whatcom County Health Department to develop additional strategies to mitigate and prevent further spread of the disease.
“While it’s concerning to see positive COVID cases in a communal setting like this, the company has a planned response and is proactively working to test and protect other crew members,” said Erika Lautenbach, Whatcom County Health Department Director. “The sick crew member is receiving great care at PeaceHealth and the Health Department is working with the company and our public health and healthcare partners to quickly and comprehensively address this outbreak.”
The U.S. Coast Guard, U.S. Centers for Disease Control and the Port of Bellingham have all been notified and are engaged.
As this is a current and rapidly evolving situation, there will be no further information available this evening. Whatcom County Unified Command or the Whatcom County Health Department will provide updates as more information is available.
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