PORTLAND, Ore. — There are 72 active COVID-19 workplace outbreaks in Oregon as of this week. That’s 11 more than the 61 active workplace outbreaks reported last week by the Oregon Health Authority (OHA).
Among the newly listed outbreak locations is the Oregon State Correctional Institution in Salem, where 41 cases have been connected to the prison. An investigation into the outbreak began on Sept. 28.
Health officials track outbreaks of five or more employees at workplaces where there are at least 30 workers. An outbreak remains active if there has been a case within the past 28 days. The case count for each workplace includes everyone who is linked to the outbreak, whether they are workers or a close contact.
OHA said there have been 24 deaths associated with workplace outbreaks in Oregon during the pandemic.
The largest active outbreak remains at the Snake River Correctional Institution in Ontario. The outbreak was first identified on June 24 and the case count has continued to rise since then. There have been 476 coronavirus cases linked to the outbreak, with the most recent onset reported on Sept. 30. Nine inmates at the prison have died after testing positive for the coronavirus, including eight people since Sept. 6.
Thirteen inmates in Oregon’s prison system are known to have died after testing positive for COVID-19 since the pandemic began. Three of the four largest active workplace outbreaks in Oregon are at prisons.
- Snake River Correctional Institution, Ontario: 476 cases (most)
- Eastern Oregon Correctional Institution, Pendleton: 367 cases (second-most)
- Two Rivers Correctional Institution, Umatilla: 126 cases (fourth-most)
Food processing and packaging facilities have also been hot spots for COVID-19 outbreaks in the workplace. Lamb Weston, a potato processing facility in Hermiston, has been linked to 189 cases, the third-largest active workplace outbreak in Oregon, with the most recent case reported on Sept. 30.
OHA also updated its list of businesses where COVID-19 outbreaks have been resolved over the last 56 days. That list now includes 46 workplaces. Outbreaks are considered resolved if there hasn’t been a known case in 28 days.
The full workplace outbreak list was published in OHA's weekly report, which details the state’s response to limit the spread of the coronavirus. The data is current as of 11 p.m. on Sunday, Oct. 4.
OHA Director Patrick Allen on Tuesday said the number of COVID-19 cases in Oregon has increased by 25% since the end of August. The state’s positive test rate last week, from Sept. 28 through Oct. 4, was 6.3%, according to OHA.