NEW ORLEANS — Louisiana officials are investigating apparent coronavirus outbreaks at three crawfish farms.
According to the Baton Rouge Advocate, about 100 workers across three separate farms in the area tested positive for COVID-19. They're the first official virus clusters in a workplace announced by the state since the start of the outbreak.
Officials provided few details Monday but said the investigation began in the Acadiana region at a crawfish producer where workers — including migrants — live in dormitory style settings.
The Louisiana Department of Health did not release the names of the farms, citing active and protected investigations. It was not immediately clear if the producers of the state-favorite seafood had been temporarily closed for cleaning.
"We are working with those groups to find out how many people are in those facilities and make sure there is adequate testing, so we can understand the scope of those clusters," said Alex Billioux, Assistant Secretary of Health.
The seafood industry is known to hire workers from other countries to work at crawfish farms and other facilities in the state.
Last month, Governor John Bel Edwards asked the public to buy local to support fishermen and producers struggling during the pandemic.
“So when you go out and purchase food, please think about spending a few dollars on seafood caught and produced here in Louisiana,” Edwards said.
To find out where you can purchase local, Louisiana seafood, visit www.LouisianaDirectSeafood.com.
Meanwhile, the state has again begun listing details on the extent of coronavirus infections at individual nursing homes in the state.
The release came as the state's total number of deaths hit 2,440. It was a one-day increase of 15 but Gov. John Bel Edwards, while lamenting the deaths, noted it was the lowest increase since the end of March.