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.
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.