SEASIDE — The Sunset Empire Park and Recreation District will close youth programs for two weeks after a staff member tested positive for the coronavirus.

The closure will allow time for the park district to deep clean affected areas. The Sunset Pool will remain open and other district programs will continue.

Sunset Pool

A staff member at the Sunset Empire Park and Recreation Department tested positive for the coronavirus.

“Our priority is keeping our patrons and staff safe,” said Skyler Archibald, the park district’s executive director, who was informed of the positive test result on Saturday.

Oscar Nelson, of Sweet Relief, announced on Facebook on Monday that the cannabis company temporarily closed the Astoria location after learning an employee was a presumptive positive for the virus.

He said all employees who had direct contact with the employee were placed on 14-day quarantine.

“As a safety precaution, our Astoria location will be closed for an undetermined amount of time while we do a thorough deep cleaning and sanitizing of the entire building,” Nelson wrote. “We will be in close communication with local health authorities and will be following all of their advice and instructions on how to move forward.”

Nelson said he was advised that due to the safety protocols the store has in place, the likelihood the virus spread is “extremely low.”

The new cases were among several that surfaced in Clatsop County over the past few days.

On Monday, the county reported three cases involving people living in the northern part of the county. The three include a woman in her 20s who tested positive, as well as two presumptive cases, both men in their 20s.

The presumptive cases involve people who are close or household contacts of a confirmed case who have coronavirus symptoms, but have yet to be tested or are waiting for test results.

All three were quarantined at home.

On Saturday, the county reported that two women living in the northern part of the county tested positive. The women are in their 30s and were reportedly quarantined at home.

The county did not provide any other details about the new cases, so it was not immediately clear if any reflect the park district worker or the cannabis store employee.

Clatsop County has disclosed 52 confirmed cases and two presumptive cases since March 23. Forty-six have recovered and the others are convalescing at home, according to the county.

The Oregon Health Authority reported 10,395 cases and 215 deaths statewide as of Monday morning.

“We anticipate this is the beginning of issues that we’re going to be seeing coming up,” Michael McNickle, the county’s public health director, said. “So, our team is ready to go.”

County Commissioner Mark Kujala recognized the efforts of the county Public Health Department during what he described as “an exhausting four months.” He praised the work of McNickle and Ellen Heinitz, a naturopathic physician who serves as the county’s community health project manager.

“Our county health department has been just stretched to the max here, working as hard as they can on multiple different venues in areas with regards to COVID,” Kujala said. “It’s just been amazing what they’ve been able to accomplish.”

R.J. Marx is editor of the Seaside Signal and covers South County for The Astorian. Reach him at 971-320-4557 or

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

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