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Thu May 7, 2020, 04:57 AM

Thousands of summer workers are headed to Alaska from Outside, where the infection rates are higher

The rhythm of Alaska’s economy is deeply seasonal. Tens of thousands of people arrive each summer for jobs in fish processing, tourism and other industries.

The COVID-19 pandemic means that far fewer workers will arrive than usual, particularly in the hard-hit tourism sector, but Alaska, which has one of the lowest rates of infection in the nation, is still about to see a deluge of people arriving from places with higher infection rates.

Many of them will be in the fishing industry. The summer salmon harvest appears to be proceeding at close to normal levels, and Gov. Mike Dunleavy’s administration says it’s working to reduce the risks posed by the seasonal workers who do show up.

“This is a question about levels of risk that Alaska is willing to tolerate,” said Bryan Fisher, the incident commander for Alaska’s pandemic response. He added: “I will say that the business industry, and the critical infrastructure industry, has done an amazing job putting measures in place to be able to accommodate the number and quantity of workers that are heading up this way.”

Read more: https://www.alaskapublic.org/2020/05/06/alaska-now-awaits-arrival-of-thousands-of-summer-workers-from-outside-where-the-infection-rate-is-higher/

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