Seafood staff confronted elevated threat of COVID-19 as pandemic peaked: research

Durham, NH — U.S. seafood staff had been twice as prone to contract COVID-19 as staff in different meals industries through the top of the pandemic, outcomes of a current research point out.

Researchers from the College of New Hampshire reviewed information experiences, scientific articles and white papers to grasp when and the place COVID-19 circumstances occurred within the seafood business, the oblique and direct results of the pandemic all through the seafood worth chain, and the way the seafood sector fared in comparison with comparable industries.

They discovered that the majority circumstances of COVID-19 amongst seafood staff had been reported through the top of the pandemic – in the summertime of 2020 and the start of 2021. The bulk had been amongst these concerned in seafood processing who are inclined to work in shut proximity to one another for hours.

The employees additionally contended with considerations about office security, contracting COVID-19, entry to medical companies, vaccination and paid sick go away. As well as, they’d financial considerations over income loss, labor shortages, provide chain points, lagging demand for seafood and value fluctuations.

“The U.S. seafood business was hit fairly laborious, particularly staff in high-density workplaces like seafood processing crops the place social distancing was troublesome,” mentioned Easton White, research creator and an assistant professor of organic sciences at UNH, mentioned in a press launch. “Regardless that COVID-19 precautions had been set in place, lowering the variety of staff on processing strains, it meant longer shifts and elevated publicity total. Fishing vessels had comparable points, the place crews on crowded boats confronted challenges carrying PPE, or masks, in moist and windy situations.

“We hope this analysis units the inspiration for future practices within the seafood sector in relation to the COVID-19 pandemic, enhancing the general office and recognizing the significance of gathering systematic social and financial information about staff.”

The research was published within the journal PeerJ Life & Atmosphere.


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