It’s time for another installment of of our special series COVID-19 Update, bringing you the latest developments on the novel coronavirus outbreak that public health authorities here and across the country are working to mitigate.
Food processing continues to be a focal point for development and spread of COVID-19. A factory trawler, the FV American Dynasty, presently docked in Bellingham, had eighty-five of one hundred and twenty-six crew members test positive for COVID-19 as of June 1st, ending its fishing season.
There are concerns, as a result, that the north Pacific fishing industry could be crippled for the foreseeable future. In light of this and other incidents regarding food processors and the pandemic, Governor Inslee has implemented new rules for agribusiness that were made effective as of June 3rd.
They require hand washing stations closer to orchards and fields and masks and other PPE available at no cost to employees, among other items.
Workers at Matson Fruit, who had been on strike since May 12th over COVID-19 concerns, returned to work on Monday after reaching a settlement on Friday, June 6th. Yakma County has been, per capita, one of the hardest counties hit in Washington state by the pandemic, and it and other factors may curtail the growth and processing of specific fruit crops for years to come.
Also on Friday, a number of counties were upgraded in status with respect to Governor Inslee’s “Safe Start” program.
King County was upgraded to a modified Phase 1 status. Clark, Okanogan, Pierce, Skagit, Snohomish and Whatcom counties moved to Phase 2 status.
Columbia, Ferry, Garfield, Lincoln, Pend Oreille, Stevens and Wahkiakum counties moved to Phase 3 status. An updated risk assessment board for COVID-19 within Washington state was available as of Wednesday, June 3rd.
On June 3rd, fourteen production workers at Bob’s Red Mill in Milwaukie were found to have caught the disease. That same day, state public health officials disclosed that almost one hundred employees had become ill at two Portland facilities of Townsend Farms, one of which had happened in late April. Pacific Seafood, in the coastal town of Newport, has developed 124 cases of COVID-19, according to investigations by local public health authorities between June 2nd and 7th.
The Magic Valley area of Idaho, which includes the city of Twin Falls, has Latinos and Hispanics make up over 50% of their cases of COVID-19, which are a result of many issues within the community.
After some earlier controversy with the Idaho Statesman newspaper, the Idaho Department of Health and Welfare started reporting weekly the number of COVID-19 cases at long-term care facilities on Friday, June 5th.
The provincial government has raised almost one thousand volunteers from government employees, who are presently on rotation to minimize viral load per volunteer, to enforce quarantine rules at all international border crossings.
Washington state has had 24,733 cases and 1,162 attributable deaths.
405,056 people have been tested.
Oregon has had 4,808 cases and 164 attributable deaths.
148,400 people have been tested.
Idaho has had 3,139 cases and 83 attributable deaths.
56,041 people have been tested.
British Columbia has had 2,632 cases and 167 attributable deaths.
153,359 people have been tested.