The Oregon Health Authority on Friday reported that a six-person coronavirus outbreak in Hood River County has been connected to Duckwall Fruit. The agency said that state and county public health officials are working with the business to address the outbreak and protect the health of workers
Also on Friday, health officials in Clark County, Washington, said that an outbreak at a Vancouver fruit processor has now been linked to 120 positive COVID-19 tests. Five of those people are not Clark County residents.
The outbreak at Vancouver’s Firestone Pacific Foods prompted Washington to pause Clark County’s request to move to that state’s next phase of reopening. It may be the largest cluster of coronavirus cases in the greater Portland metro area not linked to the health care industry.
A day earlier, on Thursday, Oregon health officials confirmed an outbreak at Townsend Farms’ Fairview and Cornelius locations. The outbreak at that fruit processor has been linked to 48 COVID-19 diagnosis so far, with 13 test results still pending.
Townsend Farms is headquartered in Multnomah County. Public health officials said those affected are migrant farmworkers who traveled to Portland over the Memorial Day weekend and that the workers are believed to have been exposed to the virus before coming to Oregon.
Across the Pacific Northwest and more broadly across the country, a number of COVID-19 outbreaks have been linked to food production.
“People employed in agriculture are essential workers. They are also a vital part of our community,” Oregon Health Authority Director Patrick Allen said in a statement. “The agricultural work environment can put them at higher risk of infection from a communicable disease like COVID-19, and we need to do everything we can to reduce that risk. State and local public health officials are committed to working with the agriculture industry to reduce the risk of infection for workers.”
Oregon COVID-19 Map
No Oregon COVID-19 deaths on Friday
The Oregon Health Authority said Friday that 4,131 people are known to have contracted coronavirus cases in the state.
That number includes both positive and presumptive cases. Presumptive cases are people who have not tested positive for the virus but have symptoms and have had close contact with a confirmed case.
OHA reported no new deaths Friday, leaving the state’s total confirmed COVID-19 deaths at 151.
Clark County at more than 550 cases
Health officials in Clark County announced Friday that there are 551 confirmed coronavirus cases there, and 25 people have died.
The most recent available data from the Washington Department of Health show 20,764 confirmed coronavirus cases in the state and 1,106 known deaths.
Portland, Vancouver plan for restaurant street seating
Vancouver City Manager Eric Holmes on Friday issued an emergency order to allow restaurants to put outdoor seating over on-street parking spaces, allowing more customers to sit and eat while maintaining social distancing.
The plan won’t become reality until Clark County enters Phase 2 of Washington’s four-phase reopening plan. It remains unclear when the state Department of Health will give the OK after a recent outbreak at a fruit packing plant.
Vancouver City Council will review Holmes’ order at its June 1 meeting.
Portland also plans to allow expanded outdoor restaurant seating when Multnomah County enter’s Phase 1 of Oregon’s reopening plan — which local officials hope will begin on June 12.
Portland’s transportation bureau announced Thursday it will begin offering permits for businesses hoping to expand onto the sidewalks or streets outside their storefronts.