VANCOUVER, Wash. — The number of employees at a Vancouver fruit processing facility who have tested positive for COVID-19 is now up to 65, the company said on Monday.
Firestone Pacific Foods said 87 employees have tested negative for the virus, and there are still a few of its employees who need to be tested. The company said there are no known hospitalizations involving its workers.
The outbreak was first discovered on May 17 when an employee tested positive for the coronavirus. After learning of the positive test, the company shut down its production facility, but the number of workers known to be infected with COVID-19 has continued to grow. As of last Friday, May 22, the number of employees who had tested positive was at 38.
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The outbreak has had ramifications extending beyond the company. Clark County last week applied to enter Phase 2 of Washington’s reopening plan, but the county's application was put on hold due to the outbreak. There is no timeline for when Clark County might enter the second phase of reopening, which includes the limited reopening of barbershops, salons and restaurants.
Clark County Public Health is working with the plant to get all its roughly 150 employees tested and make sure guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is being followed.
Production at Firestone Pacific Foods will remain halted until May 28, at which point the company hopes to get approval from Clark County Health to reopen.
Employees must get tested and follow appropriate follow-up protocol to return to work.