Now 42 confirmed positive cases in Townsend Farms outbreak
As part of a new outbreak report, the Oregon Health Authority released updated numbers Wednesday, June 3, regarding the state's largest commercial workplace outbreak at Townsend Farms.
The total number of infected employees from the most recent outbreak at Townsend Farms — there have been two separate outbreaks reported since late April — now stands at 42, with 35 cases at the Fairview location in Multnomah County and seven at the Cornelius location in Washington County.
The latest OHA numbers also cite 51 infections from the first outbreak at the Fairview location, which began April 30 and is still considered "active," given that it has been less than 28 days since the last reported case May 12.
OHA considers an outbreak to be when five or more cases are reported at a workplace with at least 30 employees.
The first Townsend Farms outbreak was among permanent workers at the Fairview location, while the second was found among 350 seasonal workers. They arrived at both Townsend Farms locations over Memorial Day weekend. In an announcement on May 28, OHA said 48 of those workers were "affected" by the outbreak, and officials did not immediately respond when asked how that related to the 42 confirmed cases reported this week. Confirmed means they have undergone a test with positive results.
The Townsend Farm outbreak was confirmed last week by OHA. Though OHA did not initially release the name of the company, at the time, it appeared to be the largest cluster of cases at a commercial facility.
Health officials believe the employees contracted the disease before arriving at Townsend Farms, though it's hard to say where given that it's common for seasonal workers to travel a lot for work in the summer.
OHA said the migrant workers were tested within one to two days of arrival, and before starting work. The tests were administered by Virginia Garcia Memorial Center and Legacy GoHealth, according to the state.
OHA said the company is housing the employees who test positive at Townsend Farms and that counties are working with the company to ensure the infected employees remain in housing while they could potentially infect others.
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