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Jackson County reports new daily high of COVID-19 cases; outbreak at Amy's Kitchen

Coronavirus cases tied to Amy's Kitchen are now being investigated as a workplace outbreak, Jackson County Public Health reported on Wednesday.

Posted: Aug 19, 2020 11:47 AM
Updated: Aug 19, 2020 6:10 PM

MEDFORD, Ore. — Public health officials in Jackson County reported a new record daily high for coronavirus cases on Wednesday, in addition to an investigation into cases tied to a workplace outbreak at the Amy's Kitchen processing facility in White City.

Jackson County Public Health reported 24 cases of COVID-19 on Wednesday, bringing the county's total since the beginning of the pandemic to 618 confirmed and presumptive cases. Nearly 200 of those cases are considered "active infectious."

"Jackson County Public Health continues to report an increase in COVID-19 cases in Jackson County," the agency said. "During the week of August 8, 2020, Jackson County reported 93 new cases, which is a case rate of 42 cases per 100,000, and an average of 13.3 cases per day. This was the most cases reported in a week since the beginning of the pandemic."

This week, officials said, Jackson County has continued to see a rise in COVID-19 cases, with a three-day average of 20.3 cases per day. Many of those cases have been traced back to social gatherings among family and friends — including people from the same household, extended families, and friends.

"People assume that because they are home, with family and friends, that they are safe, that it is a trusted environment, therefore they aren’t at risk for contracting COVID-19,” said Dr. Jim Shames, Jackson County Health Officer.

The agency also said that it is officially investigating a workplace outbreak of 18 cases tied to Amy's Kitchen in White City, which includes household members and other close contacts of employees.

Though the company confirmed last week that it had seen multiple cases among employees since the beginning of the pandemic, both the company and public health data indicated that they were not considering it a workplace outbreak at the time. Regardless, Jackson County Public Health said on Wednesday that an outbreak investigation began on July 28 and is ongoing.

It was not immediately clear why the outbreak did not appear on the Oregon Health Authority's previous weekly reports listing workplace outbreaks.

"Jackson County Public Health’s investigation has found that the spread is mostly occurring outside of the workplace setting in social gatherings among co-workers, family, and friends," the agency said. "Amy’s Kitchen has been a good partner in the investigation process and has continued to implement measures that will reduce the spread of COVID-19 in the workplace setting."

In a statement to NewsWatch 12 on Wednesday, Amy's Kitchen spokesperson Jen Tucci maintained that the cases linked to employees at the White City processing plant still have not been traced to spread within the plant itself.

"Rising case counts within the state and Jackson County have inevitably resulted in some positive cases among our employees, most traced to household transmission and social gatherings, but we are doing everything we can to protect everyone at work and to promote vigilance in and outside of the plant," Tucci said.

Based on demographic data from Jackson County, spread of the virus continues to spike among younger groups, with the vast majority of cases among people under the age of 50. 

Oregon Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 206851

Reported Deaths: 2756
CountyCasesDeaths
Multnomah40371614
Washington26781248
Marion23425323
Clackamas18932235
Lane13908164
Jackson11535146
Deschutes1001882
Umatilla859387
Linn561181
Yamhill478279
Klamath477678
Polk399356
Douglas388483
Malheur361463
Josephine360672
Benton326522
Jefferson237039
Coos216637
Columbia192129
Union149924
Wasco144430
Lincoln143021
Crook129223
Hood River121633
Morrow115416
Clatsop10589
Baker101115
Curry71011
Tillamook6604
Grant5507
Lake4678
Harney4339
Wallowa1945
Gilliam801
Sherman671
Wheeler351
Unassigned00

California Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 3809710

Reported Deaths: 63356
CountyCasesDeaths
Los Angeles124774424456
Riverside3016684627
San Bernardino2992894845
San Diego2818103771
Orange2730575113
Santa Clara1201632188
Kern1107991404
Sacramento1078211736
Fresno1029471724
Alameda896591277
Ventura816611031
San Joaquin747271440
Contra Costa70730813
Stanislaus634971070
Tulare49776849
Monterey43836432
San Mateo42681581
San Francisco37269556
Santa Barbara34613455
Solano33762266
Merced32313478
Sonoma30884317
Imperial28855741
Placer23589299
Kings23195247
San Luis Obispo21421261
Madera16638245
Santa Cruz16246208
Marin14206230
Yolo14160212
Butte12668194
Shasta12630233
El Dorado10396116
Napa1002680
Sutter9663113
Yuba648951
San Benito610963
Lassen578424
Tehama573463
Nevada491975
Humboldt449948
Mendocino434050
Tuolumne421271
Amador374047
Lake356345
Glenn243427
Siskiyou239637
Colusa228418
Calaveras220756
Del Norte14588
Inyo143438
Mono12954
Plumas7366
Modoc5585
Mariposa4657
Trinity4225
Sierra1160
Alpine890
Unassigned280
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