Nat Herz

One of the biggest challenges for distributing the COVID-19 vaccine from drug companies Pfizer and BioNTech is keeping it cold.

But Dr. Ellen Hodges, contending with subzero temperatures on a remote Southwest Alaska airport tarmac last month, had the opposite problem as she prepared to vaccinate front-line health care workers.

"It became immediately apparent that the vaccine was going to freeze in the metal part of the needle," she said. "It was just kind of wild."

As America's meat producers confronted thousands of COVID-19 cases, Pacific Northwest seafood companies drafted rigorous plans to ward off similar spread of the disease in an industry where processors also work in close quarters.

But just a few weeks into the summer season, the industry has been shaken by its first major outbreak aboard a huge vessel with an onboard fish processing factory. This week, Seattle-based American Seafoods confirmed that 92 crew from its American Dynasty ship had tested positive for COVID-19, nearly three-fourths of the 126 people onboard.