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Coronavirus outbreak hits Pacific Seafood in Warrenton

Several workers test positive

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WARRENTON — Several workers at Pacific Seafood’s plant in Warrenton have tested positive for the coronavirus, the second seafood processor on the North Coast with an outbreak.

The scope of the outbreak was not immediately clear on Monday afternoon.

Pacific Seafood

Workers at Pacific Seafood in Warrenton tested positive for the coronavirus.

A spokesman for Clatsop County described six cases involving workers at Pacific Seafood and one case involving one of the worker’s contacts.

In a statement on Saturday, Pacific Seafood said it suspended operations at the Warrenton plant after a worker tested positive for the virus.

John King, the general manager of the seafood processor, said the worker was resting at home.

King said Pacific Seafood immediately suspended operations and did a professional sanitization of the plant. He said the company has contracted with Signature Health to test workers for the virus before reopening.

“This allows for quick test processing so team members can safely return to work and also reserves the county’s free testing services for those on the front lines and community members most in need,” King said.

Earlier Saturday, the county announced a new case of the virus, a man in his 40s living in the northern part of the county. The county said the man was convalescing at home.

The county said the man was not an employee at Bornstein Seafoods in Astoria, where 26 workers have tested positive for the virus. Seventeen of the workers are from Clatsop County, the county said, while the other cases involved workers from Pacific, Grays Harbor and Cowlitz counties in Washington state.

The Oregon Health Authority reported 3,286 cases and 130 deaths from the coronavirus statewide as of Monday morning.

The health authority tracked 862 test results in Clatsop County, including 33 positive cases. The county, however, said the count was 34 cases.

At a regional town hall on Zoom organized by state Rep. Tiffiny Mitchell on Thursday night, Michael McNickle, the county’s public health director, said the county was working with other seafood processors after the Bornstein Seafoods outbreak.

Warrenton Mayor Henry Balensifer said he reached out to the county after the outbreak to ensure precautions are being taken. The mayor said there are discussions on new operational guidance and potentially limiting workers from being brought in from outside the region.

“I know that they are aware that this is a concern for the city, as well with the workers, and have been pretty quick about getting to it,” he said.

Nicole Bales is a reporter for The Astorian, covering police, courts and county government. Contact her at 971-704-1724 or nbales@dailyastorian.com.

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(1) comment

Ed McFadden

Why am I not surprised???

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According to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Can I get COVID-19 from my pets or other animals?

There is no reason at this time to think that any animals, including pets, in the United States might be a source of infection with this new coronavirus that causes COVID-19. To date, CDC has not received any reports of pets or other animals becoming sick with COVID-19 in the United States.

Pets have other types of coronaviruses that can make them sick, like canine and feline coronaviruses. These other coronaviruses cannot infect people and are not related to the current COVID-19 outbreak.

However, since animals can spread other diseases to people, it’s always a good idea to practice healthy habits around pets and other animals, such as washing your hands and maintaining good hygiene.

Should I avoid contact with pets or other animals if I am sick with COVID-19?

You should restrict contact with pets and other animals while you are sick with COVID-19, just like you would around other people. Although there have not been reports of pets or other animals becoming sick with COVID-19, it is still recommended that people sick with COVID-19 limit contact with animals until more information is known about the new coronavirus. When possible, have another member of your household care for your animals while you are sick. If you are sick with COVID-19, avoid contact with your pet, including petting, snuggling, being kissed or licked, and sharing food. If you must care for your pet or be around animals while you are sick, wash your hands before and after you interact with pets.

What about imported animals or animal products?

CDC does not have any evidence to suggest that imported animals or animal products pose a risk for spreading COVID-19 in the United States.

What precautions should be taken for animals that have recently been imported from outside the United States?

At this time, there is no evidence that companion animals, including pets and service animals, can spread COVID-19. As with any animal introduced to a new environment, animals recently imported should be observed daily for signs of illness. If an animal becomes ill, the animal should be examined by a veterinarian. Call your local veterinary clinic before bringing the animal into the clinic and let them know that the animal was recently imported from another country.

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