Facility has Oregon's largest work site outbreak, staff will be offered COVID shots

COURTESY PHOTO: AMAZON - Amazons Troutdale facility has had the highest number of COVID cases of any commercial employer in the state and will offer employees vaccinatons onsite starting this week.

Amazon plans to hold COVID-19 vaccination clinics at its Troutdale facility starting this week.

The East County warehouse has had the highest number of COVID-19 cases of any commercial workplace in the state for several months.

"We will be hosting an on-site vaccination event for Amazon employees at PDX9 in Troutdale, beginning on Tuesday and through next week," Karen Riley Sawyer, external communications for Amazon, said via email.

The shots will be available to warehouse workers and drivers starting Tuesday, April 27.

"We've been working hard to get access to the vaccine for our employees at the earliest appropriate time, and we started by hosting on-site vaccination events at fulfillment centers in Missouri, Nevada, and Kansas. We're continuing to expand across the country as more vaccine supply has become available to front-line employees in other states," Sawyer said.

"It's still early on in our program rollout, but we're very encouraged by the feedback and participation we've seen so far — many employees are registering as soon as registration opens in their location. Thousands of our employees have taken advantage of the on-site vaccination program so far," she said.

Sawyer could not estimate how many of the 4,500 Troutdale employees would get the inoculations since sign-ups are still taking place, she said.

According to the most recent state report, the Amazon shipping facility in Troutdale has had 256 cases of COVD-19, which is the most of any private employer in Oregon over the past months.

The Amazon Troutdale COVID-19 case count has grown steadily through the pandemic. By November 2020, there were 97 cases and 180 cases by January.

The April 21, Oregon Health Authority Weekly Outbreak Report said the Amazon Aumsville facility in Salem had reported 145 cases, and the Amazon PDX5 facility in Hillsboro had 30 cases through the pandemic.

OHA reports workplace outbreaks of five or more cases in worksites with at least 30 employees. The report does not provide a number for hospitalizations or deaths by an employer. But it said, all told, there have been 20,490 cases of COVID-19 traced to workplaces in Oregon and 102 deaths.

Since the pandemic began more than a year ago, more than 2,480 Oregonians have died from the virus, and more than 180,700 have been infected.

"Amazon has been heavily invested in supporting employees, customers, and communities during the pandemic, from establishing an on-site testing program for our front-line employees and enhancing our safety measures to increasing paid time-off," Sawyer said.

Other Oregon workplaces have had on-site vaccination clinics. J. Frank Schmidt & Sons Co., a Boring-based wholesale tree nursery, recently vaccinated 400 workers and their family members in a one-day clinic. Dave's Killer Bread, Milwaukie, and Bob's Red Mill, Milwaukie, also had workplace clinics.

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