Blue Harvest Fisheries ordered to shut down after 3 employees test positive for COVID-19

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NEW BEDFORD, Mass. (WPRI) ─ A New Bedford fishery has been ordered by the city’s board of health to cease and desist operations after three employees tested positive for COVID-19.

According to the cease and desist order obtained by Eyewitness News, three employees at Blue Harvest Fisheries tested positive for the virus within the past 14 days.

Blue Harvest was ordered to shut down until an “enhanced cleaning and disinfection” of the premises is completed. The facilities must remain closed for at least three days after the cleaning as part of the order.

During the closure, Blue Harvest must implement a series of precautionary measures, including designating a health and safety officer to record employee temperatures at the beginning and end of each shift, requiring all production line employees to wear face coverings and shields, and ensuring everyone in the facilities is not only practicing social distancing, but also has enough space to do so.

In a statement to Eyewitness News, New Bedford Mayor Jon Mitchell said, “it is incumbent upon every business to be proactive in stemming the spread of the coronavirus in the workplace. Most employers have been up to the challenge, and the city’s health department will continue to visit businesses, especially large employers, to ensure that all employees are being protected.”

Under the current cease and desist order, the earliest Blue Harvest can reopen is Monday.

Eyewitness News has reached out to Blue Harvest for comment but has not heard back.

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