By Nicole Montesano • Staff Writer • 

Covid Watch: Governor urges people to stay home for Labor Day

In Yamhill County, Carlton Farms is reported with an active outbreak of 17 cases of COVID-19.

State health officials, worried family get-togethers over the three-day weekend will cause a new spike in infections, are urging residents to avoid gatherings large and small.

“This Labor Day weekend is another critical moment in this crisis,” Brown said. “We can work together to stay safe and put Oregon on the path to return more students to classrooms. Or, we could see Labor Day celebrations unknowingly sow the seeds of COVID-19 outbreaks that could set us back for months.”

Even small social get-togethers “like barbecues and family celebrations have fueled wider community outbreaks in counties across Oregon,” she said. “This weekend, you have a choice. Please, stay local this Labor Day, and practice safe COVID-19 habits.”

She cited success in rural and urban communities that had experienced significant outbreaks, but tamped them down.

“We know this can work,” she said. “Last week, Multnomah and Hood River counties came off the Watch List. All we need now is the will to follow this through to the end.”

Brown this week extended a state of emergency declaration regarding COVID-19, for an additional 60 days, until Nov. 3.

The state has made progress, she said, with one of the lowest mortality rates in the country, “but, as students across Oregon begin a school year far different than any other before, it is clear that, at current COVID-19 levels, it will not be safe in much of the state for children to return to in-classroom instruction for months to come.”

Yamhill County reached 649 cases of COVID-19, with six new cases announced Thursday.

Statewide, the Oregon Health Authority said, there were 274 new cases and three deaths announced on Thursday, bringing the state to 27,336 cases, and 470 deaths.

There have been numerous workplace outbreaks across the state, and at least four in Yamhill County, although three are now resolved.

The Oregon Health Authority only reports workplace outbreaks of five or more cases, and only for workplaces with at least 30 employees.

In Yamhill County, Carlton Farms is reported with an active outbreak of 17 cases, with the most recent diagnoses on Aug. 22.

Workplace outbreaks also were reported at Fred Meyer, with six cases, and A-Dec Inc, with five cases in Newberg, and Mission Foods, with six cases, in McMinnville. All are now believed to be resolved, meaning the workplaces, their employees and their products do not pose significant risk to the public.

“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 said.

The case count for each workplace outbreak includes employees, members of their household and other close contacts, if the OHA believes they contracted the disease from the employee.

There have been eight deaths associated with workplace outbreaks statewide; however, the state does not report them by workplace.

 

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