SEVERE WX : Fire Weather Watch - Red Flag Warning View Alerts

OSHA and public health officials inspect MasterBrand facility in Grants Pass after COVID-19 case

A major employer in Grants Pass, Masterbrand Cabinets shut down on Thursday after one worker tested positive for the new coronavirus.

Posted: May 1, 2020 6:13 PM
Updated: May 1, 2020 6:21 PM

GRANTS PASS, Ore. — Kitchen cabinet manufacturer MasterBrand shut down its Grants Pass facility on Thursday afternoon after an employee tested positive for the new coronavirus, the company confirmed on Friday. Later in the day, OSHA and Josephine County Public Health said that they were investigating the location.

According to MasterBrand, that employee was last at the building on April 24. Associates who were in "prolonged close contact" with the person have been contacted and will be isolated and monitored for 14 days, the company said.

"We also notified all our employees of the confirmed case, and we sent employees home yesterday and brought in a 3rd party to deep clean the facility in advance of employees returning to work today," MasterBrand said in a statement.

Josephine County Public Health confirmed the new case in an update on Friday, saying that contact tracing was underway for the individual involved.

"Although we take our responsibility as a part of the critical construction industry supply chain seriously, worker safety is our top priority," a MasterBrand spokesperson said. "We are continuing to look at evolving safety measures that will allow employees to do their job safely — for instance, we've expanded and enhanced cleaning efforts, placed limits on occupancy for breakrooms, added lines marking floors to indicate six feet of physical distance, and have installed plexiglass between work stations where possible."

Manufacturers that employ large numbers in southern Oregon like MasterBrand and Timber Products — where a case was detected in early April — have not been closed by Governor Brown's stay-at-home order, but are supposed to follow strict physical distancing requirements. It's a difficult prospect for places that have many workers operating in close quarters.

Under the executive order, only grocery stores, health care facilities, and medical or pharmacy services are spared those requirements, but are "encouraged" to follow them nonetheless.

"We've also issued face coverings and are encouraging our employees to wear them while at work," MasterBrand continued. "We understand and share our employees' concerns during these challenging times and are having ongoing meetings with our teams to provide them with an environment where they feel comfortable and safe. We continue to follow the CDC guidelines and keep our teams informed to ensure our employees feel safe when they are on-site."

According to a spokesman for Oregon OSHA, the agency has opened an investigation into MasterBrand following multiple complaints alleging "concerns about a lack of social distancing." The agency maintained that its investigation was due to those complaints, and did not comment on the positive case.

Josephine County Public Health director Mike Weber said that his agency is now working with OSHA and MasterBrand to ensure that the company's policies are in accordance with the state social distancing orders for COVID-19.

“These are challenging and unprecedented times, and we are glad to work with our business community to ensure the continued health and safety of their work force,” said Weber. “Current guidelines from the Oregon Health Authority and the state enable manufacturing concerns to continue operations so long as physical distancing and specific hygiene measures are in place.”

Josephine County said on Friday evening that public health officials and members of OSHA had met with the management of MasterBrand to review those measures and ensure employee safety — and to conduct an inspection of the building. A statement from the County did not include any further information about the outcome of the inspection, but any further developments will be the domain of OSHA.

MasterBrand told NewsWatch 12 that enhanced safety measures at the Grants Pass facility had been put into practice several weeks ago, based on CDC recommendations.

Oregon Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 206777

Reported Deaths: 2754
CountyCasesDeaths
Multnomah40354614
Washington26781248
Marion23425323
Clackamas18925235
Lane13896164
Jackson11535146
Deschutes1001582
Umatilla859387
Linn560380
Yamhill477879
Klamath477678
Polk399356
Douglas387982
Malheur361463
Josephine359872
Benton326422
Jefferson236839
Coos216637
Columbia191929
Union149824
Wasco144330
Lincoln143021
Crook129223
Hood River121933
Morrow115316
Clatsop10559
Baker101115
Curry70811
Tillamook6604
Grant5507
Lake4678
Harney4339
Wallowa1945
Gilliam801
Sherman671
Wheeler351
Unassigned00

California Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 3808258

Reported Deaths: 63335
CountyCasesDeaths
Los Angeles124761824454
Riverside3016034627
San Bernardino2992894844
San Diego2817493771
Orange2729225112
Santa Clara1201102188
Kern1107821404
Sacramento1076381731
Fresno1029221724
Alameda895921273
Ventura816381031
San Joaquin746861438
Contra Costa70561813
Stanislaus633871069
Tulare49814849
Monterey43831427
San Mateo42646581
San Francisco37256556
Santa Barbara34596455
Solano33707266
Merced32291478
Sonoma30868317
Imperial28813741
Placer23537299
Kings23189247
San Luis Obispo21421261
Madera16632245
Santa Cruz16235208
Marin14200230
Yolo14156212
Butte12659194
Shasta12630233
El Dorado10371116
Napa1002580
Sutter9656113
Yuba648551
San Benito610963
Lassen578424
Tehama573163
Nevada491075
Humboldt446348
Mendocino432150
Tuolumne420771
Amador373947
Lake356345
Glenn243427
Siskiyou239437
Colusa228418
Calaveras220156
Del Norte14568
Inyo143438
Mono12954
Plumas7366
Modoc5585
Mariposa4657
Trinity4225
Sierra1150
Alpine890
Unassigned330
Medford
Clear
74° wxIcon
Hi: 98° Lo: 63°
Feels Like: 74°
Brookings
Partly Cloudy
50° wxIcon
Hi: 75° Lo: 56°
Feels Like: 50°
Crater Lake
Clear
74° wxIcon
Hi: 79° Lo: 51°
Feels Like: 74°
Grants Pass
Partly Cloudy
74° wxIcon
Hi: 98° Lo: 62°
Feels Like: 74°
Klamath Falls
Clear
71° wxIcon
Hi: 90° Lo: 61°
Feels Like: 71°
Chances for thunderstorms Monday and Tuesday
KDRV Radar
KDRV Fire Danger
KDRV Weather Cam

Community Events

Latest Video

Image

Monday, June 21 morning weather

Image

Sunday, June 20th Evening Forecast

Image

Sunday, June 20th Evening Forecast

Image

Local government officials celebrate Juneteenth

Image

California mask updates for people who are vaccinated

Image

Sunday, June 20th Morning Weather

Image

Golf Tip of the Week: Stone Ridge Golf Club

Image

Saturday, June 19th Evening Forecast

Image

Saturday, June 19th Morning Forecast

Image

Roundball Wrap: Week 5