Thursday, September 24, 2020
Sept. 24, 2020

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65 Vancouver food processor workers have COVID-19

Firestone Pacific Foods in Fruit Valley shut down production

By , Columbian Assistant Metro Editor
Published:

The number of positive COVID-19 cases at Firestone Pacific Foods increased to 65 workers, almost doubling the number reported Friday, according to a news release sent by the Fruit Valley fruit processor on Monday.

The company is not aware of any workers being hospitalized as of Monday, according to the news release, and 87 tests have been negative for the virus.

On Friday, public health officials reported that testing had revealed 38 employees at Firestone Pacific Foods, a fruit processing company at 4211 Fruit Valley Road, had contracted the virus. The Washington Joint Information Center said Saturday that the county’s Phase 2 reopening application was delayed.

Firestone learned of the first worker testing positive for COVID-19 on May 17, and management instructed all who were in close contact to self-isolate and get tested. After the company, which employs about 150 people, learned of more positive cases last week, it shut down its production center for a deep cleaning.

The company’s farm operations remained open, and its cold storage facility was shut down on Monday; no positive cases were linked with that department.

Production will not resume until at least May 28 with approval of Clark County Public Health, according to the news release.

A few employees of Firestone Pacific Foods had not been tested as of Monday, and the company was in communication to urge that they get tested, according to the news release. All employees will require testing to return to work.

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