Thursday, September 24, 2020
Sept. 24, 2020

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With Firestone cases, Clark County COVID-19 total jumps to 510

Total of 84 cases connected to west Vancouver food processing plant

By , Columbian Web Editor
Published:

The total number of COVID-19 cases confirmed in Clark County jumped to 510 on Tuesday.

Clark County Public Health last updated numbers of cases on Friday before the holiday weekend.

The jump in cases includes 69 employees from Firestone Pacific Foods who tested positive. A total of 84 cases connected to the Fruit Valley food processing plant have been identified; four employees are not Clark County residents. Another 15 people identified as close contacts of those cases have also tested positive. The company employs about 150 people at two facilities in west Vancouver.

According to a press release from Clark County Public Health, the agency coordinated with The Vancouver Clinic and Firestone to facilitate COVID-19 testing of all employees. That testing began Friday afternoon. Public Health is also recommending testing for all close contacts of employees who test positive.

The facility-wide testing of employees uncovered at least 18 people who tested positive but did not have symptoms at the time of their interview with Public Health. Information is not yet available about the number of close contacts who tested positive but did not have symptoms.

“These cases may have gone undetected and potentially exposed others had we not facilitated testing of all employees,” said Dr. Alan Melnick, Clark County health officer and Public Health director. “By being proactive, we have hopefully kept this outbreak contained to Firestone employees and close contacts, and prevented the outbreak from spreading into the community.”

At this time, there is no evidence the outbreak has spread beyond Firestone employees and their close contacts, according to Public Health.

A total of 248 people with connections to Firestone Pacific Foods have been tested.

Clark County and the state

The number of coronavirus deaths in Clark County remains at 25. Six people are currently hospitalized for the disease, though none are connected to the Firestone outbreak; none are in the ICU. At least 8,834 people in Clark County have been tested for novel coronavirus.

Across the state, the number of confirmed cases of COVID-19 topped 20,000 as of Sunday, with 1,070 people in the state dying from the disease. More than 300,000 people across the state have been tested. Washington has a population of 7.6 million.

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