Coronavirus Outbreak at Oregon Seafood Plant As Nearly 100 Workers Test Positive

Pacific Seafood, a food processing plant based in Oregon, has reported 77 employees at its Warrenton facility in Clatsop County have tested positive for the novel coronavirus.

"The Clatsop County Public Health Department was informed Thursday of what appears to be a major outbreak of COVID-19 among employees of the Pacific Seafood facility in Warrenton," read a statement on the Clatsop County website.

"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 statement confirmed.

None of the infected workers have been hospitalized and the affected individuals are being quarantined.

The plant is partnering with the state to respond to the cases that have been tied to "Labor Day social activities," the general manager at Pacific Seafood Warrenton, John King, told The Associated Press Thursday.

The Oregon Health Authority is managing the contact tracing of family members and other contacts of the infected workers, while the plant's day shift employees will also be tested for the virus.

County and hospital officials were reported to be preparing for a potential surge in hospitalizations following the latest outbreak, said Clatsop County Commissioner Mark Kujala, who represents Warrenton.

Earlier this year, the Warrenton facility reported another outbreak of cases, which saw 11 employees test positive, while four contacts of those infected individuals also tested positive, the county confirmed.

Back in June, Pacific Seafood reported one of its largest outbreaks with 187 cases linked to its plants in Newport, while 14 cases were reported at its Clackamas facility in July and August.

The latest cluster of cases comes as confirmed cases in Oregon approach nearly 31,900, according to the latest report Friday by Johns Hopkins University (JHU).

The three-day moving average of daily new cases in Oregon flattened out from late March to early June before rising on a sharp incline through July 24, when it peaked at 366. The figure then declined sharply through early September, according to data compiled by JHU.

The three-day average was reported to be on an upward trend in the latest two-week period from September 9 to 22.

Seafood restaurant in Oregon 2019
A sign displayed at a seafood restaurant in a Bandon, Oregon, pictured in June 2019. Nearly 100 workers at an Oregon seafood plant in Warrenton were reported to have tested positive for COVID-19 this week. Robert Alexander/Getty Images

The wider picture

The novel coronavirus has infected over 32.2 million people across the globe since it was first reported in Wuhan, China, including over 6.9 million in the U.S. More than 983,400 have died following infection, while over 22.2 million have reportedly recovered as of Friday, according to JHU.

The graphic below, provided by Statista, illustrates U.S. states with the most COVID-19 cases.

COVID-19 cases in U.S.

The below graphic, also provided by Statista, illustrates the percentage of Americans who do or don't want COVID-19 restrictions to be relaxed in the country.

Americans US COVID-19 restrictions

The graphics below, also provided by Statista, illustrate the spread of COVID-19 cases in counties across the globe.

1 of 2