VANCOUVER, Wash. — Clark County is putting its request for Phase 2 of opening on pause due to the outbreak of coronavirus at Firestone Pacific Foods.
Officials said on Saturday that 38 employees at the Vancouver fruit plant tested positive for COVID-19. At least two of those people are Clark County residents and one person has been hospitalized due to the virus.
“While this outbreak is unfortunate, our response demonstrates we have the confidence and capability to respond to situations like this,” said Dr. Alan Melnick, Clark County health officer and Public Health director.
Public Health is working with the plant and asked it to stop production on Tuesday to prevent the spread of the virus amongst employees. Public health is also working with the fruit plant to help the facility with following the new guidance from the Center for Disease Control (CDC).
All 150 employees at Firestone Pacific Foods will be tested. The testing began on Friday and prior to that testing only 12 cases had been identified in the plant. Another 26 positive cases came from the testing.
“Public Health has gone above and beyond in its response to this outbreak,” said Clark County Council Chair Eileen Quiring. “As our community moves forward, whether next week or in the weeks that follow, we may, unfortunately, see more positive cases. Public Health’s efforts during this outbreak show they have the ability to effectively respond to outbreaks in order to keep our community healthy.”
The plant will remain closed until further notice.
Clark County will remain in Phase 1 of opening and said in a release that businesses and residents should continue to follow the Phase 1 guidance
There is no timeline for when Clark County might enter Phase 2 at this time.
For more information about COVID-19 and the Public Health response, visit the Public Health website.