PORTLAND, Ore. — For the first time, the Oregon Health Authority has released data on active COVID-19 outbreaks at Oregon workplaces.
In its weekly report on the coronavirus pandemic, the OHA released a list of 19 active workplace outbreaks from around the state.
The OHA defines a workplace outbreak as two or more COVID-19 cases that work in the same location, have an epidemiologic link and have symptom onset or positive test within 14 days of each other. An active outbreak means there has been a case reported in the last 28 days.
The OHA began reporting workplace outbreaks following criticism over transparency after it initially refused to name Townsend Farms as a Portland-area business hit by a large COVID-19 outbreak.
In order to protect privacy, the OHA only released information about workplace outbreaks with five or more cases and at least 30 employees. Six deaths are connected to the active outbreaks, but the OHA does not report deaths by workplace, citing privacy protection.
The three largest active outbreaks are the Oregon State Penitentiary (167 cases), Townsend Farms in Fairview (51 cases) and National Frozen Foods in Albany (41 cases).
The number of cases includes everyone linked to the outbreak, meaning some totals may include workers' family members or other close contacts.
View the full list of active workplace outbreaks below.
“The presence of correctional facilities and food packing and agricultural worksites on this list is illustrative of the challenges of controlling COVID-19 in settings where people must work or live in close proximity,” the OHA said in its report. “In addition, people of color are overrepresented in agricultural and correctional settings, perhaps contributing to higher rates of COVID-19 observed in these groups.”
The OHA said the workplaces and their products present no greater risk to the public, and no workers should be subjected to discrimination.
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