Clark County is operating on an unknown timeline for its application for relaxed Phase 2 precautions, as the coronavirus outbreak associated with Vancouver’s Firestone Pacific Foods continues to grow.
On Tuesday, the county announced four new cases in Firestone employees — raising that total to 69 infected employees — as well as an additional 15 cases in close contacts of those employees. The county has 510 confirmed cases, with 84 confirmed cases associated with the facility. At least 18 employees were asymptomatic when tested for the virus.
Clark County Public Health Officer Dr. Alan Melnick said he plans to speak with the state Department of Health this week about the county’s Phase 2 application, which, if approved, would allow restaurants, some retail shops, barbershops and beauty salons to reopen with safety measures in place.
Melnick said Public Health is working to gather more data on the Firestone outbreak before having that discussion with state Secretary of Health Dr. John Wiesman. He said that if the county can contain this outbreak through case investigation and contact notification, it will possibly strengthen Clark County’s chance of gaining Phase 2 status.
There is no evidence at this time that the outbreak has spread beyond Firestone employees and their close contacts, according to Public Health. Food made at the facility is safe for consumption, and there will be no recalls, Melnick said.