Clatsop County reported Friday that 12 more workers at Bornstein Seafoods in Astoria have tested positive for the coronavirus, bringing the outbreak to 26.
The county Public Health Department began testing workers at the seafood processor on May 2 after the company informed the county on May 1 that an employee had tested positive for the virus.
The county finished testing all 200 workers earlier this week.
Of the positive tests, 17 are Clatsop County residents. The county informed Pacific, Grays Harbor and Cowlitz counties in Washington state of the other cases.
The new seven cases of the virus among seafood workers in Clatsop County include two women in their 30s, two women in their 40s, one woman in her 50s, one man in his 40s and one man in his 60s. All were identified as living in the northern part of the county.
Bornstein Seafoods has shut down two plants at the Port of Astoria in response to the outbreak and advised employees to self-isolate at home.
Separately from the outbreak at Bornstein Seafoods, the county on Friday disclosed three other new cases of the coronavirus. The cases involve a man in his 40s from the northern part of the county, along with a man in his 40s and a woman in her 60s from the southern part of the county.
People who have tested positive have been required to self-quarantine and the Public Health Department is tracing their contacts.
Before the Bornstein Seafoods outbreak, the county had reported six cases of the virus. All six people have reportedly recovered and no one was hospitalized.
The Public Health Department will begin offering drive-thru community testing for the coronavirus starting Monday. The tests will be conducted by appointment on Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays at the county’s household hazardous waste facility near CMH Field.
The county expects to conduct up to 100 tests a day. Most of the testing for the virus on the North Coast has been at private hospitals and other health care providers.
The Oregon Health Authority reported 3,068 cases and 124 deaths from the coronavirus statewide as of Friday morning.
The health authority tracked 723 test results in Clatsop County, including 27 positive cases. The county, however, put the number of positive cases at 26 and believes the state is counting a case from Washington state.
The Bornstein Seafoods outbreak rippled across Astoria.
Michael McNickle, the county’s public health director, said the prevalence of the virus among workers at Bornstein Seafoods was lower than he expected after the initial positive tests.
“Which is good news,” he said during a regional town hall meeting on Zoom on Thursday night organized by state Rep. Tiffiny Mitchell, D-Astoria. “And we’ve moved on to working with the other fish-packing places — (Point Adams Packing Co.), (Pacific Seafood) and (Fishhawk Fisheries), as well as (Da Yang Seafood).”
William Oruko, the pastor and parish administrator at St. Mary, Star of the Sea, said the Public Health Department notified him that someone tied to the outbreak is a parishioner at the Catholic church.
In an email to parishioners Tuesday, the church said the parishioner was present during a recent livestream Mass. Oruko said the church calls a few volunteers to help livestream the service. He said the church decided to close and will temporarily stop the livestream services, which were in place because of the government restrictions on larger gatherings.
South Bay Wild Fish House, which carries Bornstein Seafoods products, announced Tuesday that the restaurant would close.
“I have always found them to be the type to work alongside their employees and treat them fairly. That is why I work with them,” the restaurant said on its Facebook page.
“The people I deal with that work there seem to be happy. I’m sad to hear some workers have tested positive and I hope they all recover. We will absolutely continue to work with Bornstein’s because I trust that they will do what needs to be done to ensure a safe working environment.
“That being said, we feel the need to close the Fish House until all the testing is completed, because between delivering shrimp and picking up fish we have quite a bit of interaction with the Bornstein’s crowd and we want to make sure we have not been exposed and certainly don’t want to pass it on to our customers if we have.”