PORTLAND, Maine — Bristol Seafood announced Monday it is voluntarily pausing production in its Portland Fish Pier processing plant after identifying confirmed positive cases of COVID-19 among staff members.
The Maine Center for Disease Control (Maine CDC) Director Dr. Nirav Shah said in the daily coronavirus briefing Monday that they began working with the company over the weekend to investigate the outbreak and collect additional samples for testing.
Neither the Maine CDC or Bristol Seafood said exactly how many workers have tested positive thus far.
In its announcement, Bristol Seafood says since March the plant has operated with modified procedures to reduce the risk of its team members contracting COVID-19. In addition to wearing masks, face shields, gloves, and gowns, as well as strict handwashing and sanitizing procedures, an outdoor handwashing station was installed and the plant implemented temperature checks and health questionnaires for workers before entry and closed the facility to all outside visitors.
“We take our duty to provide wholesome seafood to American families seriously, but we will always put the safety and health of our team members first," Peter Handy, President & CEO of Bristol Seafood said in the announcement. "As a result, we are voluntarily pausing production while we conduct a thorough cleaning of our facility and get universal testing for our team. We are proactively communicating with the Maine CDC and meeting or exceeding their recommendations."
Handy says they plan to reopen later this week with team members who have verified negative results.
At NEWS CENTER Maine, we’re focusing our news coverage on the facts and not the fear around the illness. To see our full coverage, visit our coronavirus section, here: /coronavirus
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