Coronavirus outbreak at Washington state fruit plant temporarily halts county reopening plans: report

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A coronavirus outbreak at a Vancouver, Wash., fruit processing company has temporarily halted production and county plans for reopening, reports say.

Some 65 employees at Firestone Pacific Foods have tested positive for coronavirus, while 87 workers have tested negative, according to a Monday report from OregonLive.

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The frozen fruit processing plant was shut down on May 17, one day after the company learned of a positive coronavirus case. The report states the outbreak appears to be the largest workplace outbreak in the Portland area, aside from the health care sector.

A coronavirus outbreak at the Firestone Pacific Foods fruit processing plant in Vancouver has halted production, as well as county plans to reopen. (Photo courtesy of Google Maps/Street View)

A coronavirus outbreak at the Firestone Pacific Foods fruit processing plant in Vancouver has halted production, as well as county plans to reopen. (Photo courtesy of Google Maps/Street View)

While Clark County officials were looking to shift into Phase 2 of a reopening plan, the outbreak resulted in the state putting the requested Phase 2 variance on hold, according to a news release. The Washington county remains in its "Safe Start Phase 1," which includes openings for all essential business, state parks, drive-in religious services, and more.

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Clark County Council Chair Eileen Quiring in a press release said the community may "unfortunately see more positive cases” moving forward.

As of May 23, county officials also reported one hospitalization stemming from the fruit plant outbreak. Testing of Firestone employees continued over the weekend and production at the facility remains temporarily halted.