Major COVID-19 outbreak reported at Pacific Seafood

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Processor hit again as 77 of the workers test positive for illness.

In a press release, the Clatsop County Public Health Department writes that it was informed Thursday of what appears to be a major outbreak of COVID-19 among employees of the Pacific Seafood facility in Warrenton, Oregon, USA.

Testing of the plant’s 159-member night shift conducted earlier this week by a private laboratory revealed that 77 of the workers tested positive for the illness.

The company, which is one of the US’ largest seafood companies, processes a wide assortment of species including its own wild and farmed salmon range. It has 41 facilities in 11 states.

Pacific Seafood’s Warrenton, Oregon-based dockside processing plant, mainly processes Dungeness crab, steelhead and more. The facility was originally built in 1941 and acquired by Pacific Seafood (its very first processing facility) in 1983. The site was destroyed in a fire in 2013 but later rebuilt in 2018.

The Oregon Health Authority said that it was taking the lead in arranging for quarantine of the affected individuals, and conducting tracing of family and other contacts of those workers. The agency is also arranging to test the members of the plant’s day shift Thursday and Friday.

None of the individuals who tested positive have been hospitalised.

The news is the latest in a number of Pacific Seafood outbreaks. In June, 124 workers at Pacific Seafood’s Newport operation tested positive for COVID-19. In the end of May, it was reported that the Oregon, US-based, Pacific Seafood had to temporary lay off 20 per cent of its workforce, 500 out of 2500.