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Rapid Virus Tests Headed for Alaska’s Fishing Industry

July 23, 2020, 3:36 PM

Alaska will receive rapid testing machines and kits to help test for Covid-19 the thousands of workers who travel to the state each summer to work in the fishing industry, according to the General Services Administration website.

The Department of Health and Human Services awarded Cepheid Inc. a $1.68 million contract to provide these machines and kits. The Cepheid machines are used for point-of-care tests—typically done in hospitals and urgent care clinics at the bedside of patients—and provide results in 45 minutes. The tests don’t require samples to be sent to a lab.

There have been some fishing-related outbreaks in Alaska, with 85 crew members aboard a fishing ship testing positive, 96 workers at an OBI Seafoods processing plant, and 9 cases linked to an Alaska Glacier Seafoods processing plant, all in July. There were also outbreaks at two other OBI Seafoods plants with 12 and three workers testing positive.

Leaders in one city asked Alaska Gov. Mike Dunleavy to close a commercial salmon fishery, which he declined to do.

To contact the reporter on this story: Shira Stein in Washington at sstein@bloomberglaw.com

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Fawn Johnson at fjohnson@bloomberglaw.com; Brent Bierman at bbierman@bloomberglaw.com

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