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Amazon warehouse in Troutdale has highest work-related case count in state except for prisons

PMG FILE PHOTO - As the state rolls out its vaccination program, East Multnomah County businesses are reporting cases of COVID-19.

Amazon's Troutdale warehouse has had 180 cases of COVID-19 tied to the facility, making it the state's largest active workplace outbreak except for correctional facilities.

The 180 cases of COVID-19 at Amazon tallied in the Jan. 6 OHA report is nearly double the 97 cases disclosed in the Nov. 17 OHA report on workplace outbreaks.

The Oregon Health Authority traces the Amazon outbreak at the warehouse, 1250 N.W. Siegert Road, back to May.

Although not addressing the specific situation in Troutdale, Anne Laughlin Carpita, spokesperson for Amazon, said via email that the company has invested more than $961 million in safety measures and equipment. They've made more than 150 changes in business practices to keep employees safe from COVID-19.

"Nothing's more important than the health and safety of our employees, and we're doing everything we can to support them through the pandemic," she said.

Amazon has had outbreaks at facilities across the country, including 210 employees in six workplaces in the Los Angeles area. The company has temporarily closed facilities in various locations due to coronavirus cases throughout the pandemic.

Many of the workplace 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.

The second largest number of workplace virus cases in East Multnomah County was at CTDI Global Engineering, Repair & Logistics, 22667 N.E. Townsend Way, Fairview. CTDI has 12 cases that started Christmas Eve.

CTDI did not respond to efforts to reach them for comment.

Legacy Mount Hood Medical Center, 24800 S.E. Stark St., reported 10 cases with the first case reported on Dec. 27.

Brian Terrett, Legacy Health's director of public relations and communications, said "In mid-December, several staff members and people living in their households developed COVID-19 infections in a similar time frame. Following our standard process, the staff self-quarantined before returning to work. We followed exposure and contact tracing protocols. We have identified all the transmissions resulting from this situation and have resumed normal operations."  

He added "At Legacy Mount Hood Medical Center, the safety of our patients and staff is our highest priority."

The OHA report said "State and local public health officials work intensively with staff at workplaces where outbreaks are identified to isolate sick workers, test and quarantine those who have been exposed and implement workplace changes to reduce risk of transmission."

OHA reports workplace outbreaks with five or more cases in facilities with at least 30 workers. The case counts include anyone linked to the outbreak such as household members.

As the first vaccines to protect against the rampaging COVID-19 virus are being administered, more than 1,575 Oregonians have lost their lives to the disease and more than 122,800 have been infected.

Five of Oregon's correctional facilities have reported a total of 1,819 cases as of the Jan. 6 OHA report.

There have been 70 deaths and 14,549 cases associated with all workplace outbreaks in Oregon that have been reported to date, the weekly report said.


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