New testing ups Pacific Seafood COVID-19 count to 94 workers
The results of testing completed at the end of last week show the current coronavirus outbreak among workers at processing plant in Warrenton, Oregon, U.S.A. have bumped the count of affected employees to 94, up from the 77 announced last week.
However, the company’s most recent round of testing, conducted on Thursday and Friday, 24 and 25 September, revealed only five positive COVID-19 tests out of 106 workers, with one test result still pending.
“The low positive rate in the second round of testing confirms the report from the Clatsop County Health Department of an increase in COVID cases stemming from the Labor Day holiday,” Pacific Seafood Warrenton General Manager John King said in a press release. “The vast majority of our workers who tested positive reside in off-site seasonal housing at an area hotel, and initial cases can be clearly traced to Labor Day social activities. The low number of positives among team members who do not reside at that hotel confirms that the robust prevention protocols we maintain in our facility are working."
Pacific Seafood General Counsel Tony Dal Ponte told SeafoodSource on Friday, 25 September, the company was expected more positive results as a result of the additional testing. The company temporarily suspended operations at its midday shift at its Warrenton plant and conducted an extensive sanitation regime while the plant is offline, Dal Ponte said.
The Oregon Health Authority and Clatsop County Public Health Department said in a joint statement they are now conducting tracing of contacts of the affected employees and organizing quarantine and related services. King said Pacific is assisting on this efforts.
“We continue to work with the Oregon Health Authority to complete contact tracing and contain spread in our community,” he said. "All workers who tested positive or have been in close contact with a positive case are quarantining. The vast majority are seasonal workers who do not have children in local schools and use private transportation to commute to work. We are in regular contact with all workers impacted by recent test results to ensure that they are adhering to quarantine requirements and have all of the support they need. We remain grateful for the help and support of the Oregon Health Authority, and remain committed to doing everything reasonably possible to support the health and safety of our team members, families, and communities.”
Photo courtesy of Pacific Seafood