This Mass. seafood mecca took quick action against Covid-19. And its precautions have paid off.
Roughly 390 million pounds of seafood come through New Bedford, Massachusetts, every year—a city that originally rose to fame due to whaling. But the city has been more recently notable for how it’s controlled Covid-19. New Bedford hasn’t been completely immune to the virus, but it has been one rare success story among the nation’s food processing hubs. The city took rapid precautions while other transportation and processing centers around the country were hard hit by the pandemic, National Geographic reported. Early on, city officials, crew members, and health-care workers worried that boats coming in would spark an outbreak, and it developed a plan for mobile testing on its boardwalk. Workers at seafood processing plants, many of whom are undocumented, formed a group called Pescando Justicia and sent an open letter to their employers. It raised concerns about unsafe working conditions, which later led city to require employers to report Covid-19 cases. Meanwhile, some other facilities proactively self-reported cases to avoid closures that would affect its highly perishable—and lucrative—seafood business.