Protecting Seafood Processing Workers from COVID-19

Seafood processing worksites (i.e., factories that are located in plants onshore and in vessels offshore) are a component of the critical infrastructure within the Food and Agriculture Sector. CDC’s Critical Infrastructure Guidance advises that critical infrastructure workers may be permitted to continue work following potential exposure to SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, provided they remain asymptomatic, they have not had a positive test result for COVID-19, and additional precautions are implemented to protect them and the community. Facilities that are not part of the critical food and agriculture sector should follow the CDC Public Health Recommendations for Community-Related Exposure following workers’ potential exposure to SARS-CoV-2.

All onshore and offshore seafood processing worksites developing plans to continue operations while COVID-19 outbreaks occur among workers or in the surrounding community should:

  1. Work directly with appropriate state, local, tribal, and territorial (SLTT) public health officials and occupational safety and health professionals;
  2. Incorporate relevant aspects of CDC guidance, including but not limited to this guidance and the CDC’s Critical Infrastructure Guidance; and
  3. Incorporate guidance from other authoritative sources or regulatory bodies as needed.

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