June 1, 2020 / 9:50 AM / a month ago

86 American Seafoods crew members test positive for coronavirus

June 1 (Reuters) - Eighty-six crew members in one of American Seafoods' fish processing vessels have tested positive for COVID-19, the fishing company said on Sunday.

The crew of the American Dynasty trawler were tested for the respiratory disease caused by the coronavirus in the port at Bellingham, Washington state before departing to Seattle. American Dynasty has a carrying capacity of 142 crew.

Test results for another nine crew members are awaited, the company said.

The Seattle-based company, which operates six fish processing vessels in the Bering Sea and North Pacific Ocean, is said to be one of the largest at-sea processors of wild pacific hake and wild alaska pollock fish.

Twenty U.S. meat plants were temporarily closed last month after the virus infected thousands of employees. Companies such as McDonald's Corp and Smithfield Foods Inc have been sued over compliance with health and safety measures.

As of May 31, about 22,000 cases of COVID-19 have been recorded in Washington state. The total U.S. cases tally is about 1.8 million.

Reporting by Aakriti Bhalla in Bengaluru, editing by Ed Osmond

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