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East County's largest workplace outbreak still considered active; two other sites reported

COURTESY PHOTO: CATE BLIGH FOR UNSPLASH - The Amazon warehouse in Troutdale reportd 97 cases of COVID-19 beginning in May. Two other local workplace outbreaks are also classified as active.

The Amazon warehouse in Troutdale has had 101 cases of COVID-19 starting in May and continuing through November, in the largest reported workplace outbreak in East Multnomah County.

Reports from Oregon Health Authority show Amazon's string of cases continued through Nov. 21, at its warehouse at 1250 N.W. Swigert Road.

An Amazon spokeswoman did not address the Troutdale situation specifically, but said via email: "Amazon prioritizes the safety and health of its employees and has invested millions of dollars to provide a safe workplace, which is why at the onset of the pandemic we moved quickly to make more than 150 COVID-19 related process changes."

She continued: "Today, we are anything but complacent and continue to innovate, learn, and improve the measures we have in place to protect our teams. This in addition to supplying masks, gloves, thermal cameras, thermometers, disinfectant spraying in buildings, increased janitorial teams, additional handwashing stations, hand sanitizer, sanitizing wipes, and piloting COVID testing at many of our sites."

The Oregon Health Authority reports workplace outbreaks of five or more cases and only with places that have 30 or more employees.

Many of the outbreaks occur in places where people live or work in close proximity, such as correctional facilities, food packing and agricultural work sites, the health authority said.

OHA does not report COVID-19 deaths connected to workplaces.

A previously reported outbreak of the virus at Townsend Farms in Fairview continued through Nov. 8, with a total of 12 cases still considered active.

Lipman Produce at 2872 N.E. 181st Ave. has had six cases, with the investigation into those starting on Nov. 18.

Lipman and Townsend did not immediately respond to queries about their outbreak and precautions.

In the most recent weekly report, OHA classified Amazon, Townsend Farms and Lipman as "active" outbreaks.

There have been other local outbreaks that have been classified as resolved.

In October, Travel Centers of America, a truck and auto stop at 790 N.W. Frontage Road, had 11 cases and Organically Grown Co., 20078 N.E. Sandy Blvd., had five, according to OHA's list of resolved situations.


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