HERMISTON — New workplaces in Umatilla and Morrow counties were added to the Oregon Health Authority’s weekly report on workplace outbreaks of COVID-19, but some worksites were also moved to the “resolved” category after 30 days without a new case.
The report, which was released on Wednesday, Aug. 5, and covers the week of July 27-Aug. 2, names workplaces with more than 30 employees that have had at least five cases linked to them, through employees testing positive or close contacts of those employees who contact tracers believe were exposed to the virus by the employee.
The list includes a similar list of congregate living facilities with at least three cases linked to them.
Regency Hermiston Nursing and Rehabilitation Center topped the list of active nursing home outbreaks in the state with a total of 80 cases and eight deaths linked to the facility after cases there were first reported on July 13, according to the report.
The nursing home previously stated that it is following Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines, working closely with health officials, and had tested all residents and staff.
Sun Terrace, a retirement home and assisted living facility in Hermiston, is listed in OHA’s report as having six cases and one death linked to it since July 15.
On the prison side, the OHA report listed Eastern Oregon Correctional Institution with 164 cases — the third-largest active workplace outbreak in the state.
EOCI Superintendent Ron Miles provided updated information to the East Oregonian by email, stating as of Aug. 5 there were now 166 confirmed cases of COVID-19 at the prison, with 61 of those recovered. Eleven tests are still pending, he said, and 175 adults in custody had tested negative. There were 15 staff members who tested positive. Miles said 950 adults in custody were in quarantine status and 21 are in medical isolation.
In Umatilla, Two Rivers Correctional Institution has reported 22 cases linked to the facility.
On the workplace side, Lamb Weston remained on the workplace list with 167 cases linked to its Hermiston plant between June 16 and July 18. But the company’s Boardman facilities are now reporting outbreaks as well. OHA’s weekly report lists 31 cases at its Lamb Weston East site, 22 cases at its Lamb Weston Boardman Pac Center and 21 cases at Lamb Weston West.
Shelby Stoolman, a spokeswoman for the company, said in an email that so far the Boardman sites have not been shut down and a mass testing event has not been planned — both of which happened at the Hermiston site in July.
“We’re closely monitoring the cases and sharing information with OHA, and we’ll adjust our approach if needed,” she said.
Area businesses that got to move to the “resolved” category after a reported 30 days with no new cases are Columbia River Processing (a subsidiary of Tillamook in Boardman), as well as JM Eagle of Umatilla and Family Health Associates of Hermiston.
According to Umatilla County Public Health, the county as a whole saw 21 new confirmed cases of COVID-19 as of Aug. 5 and two new deaths, bringing the county’s total number of deaths of people diagnosed with COVID-19 to 27. The county has had 2,026 confirmed cases so far, and OHA’s weekly report listed 1,189 cases in the Hermiston ZIP code as of last week.
The latest deaths of county residents reported were an 85-year-old woman who tested positive July 10 and died July 21 at Kadlec Regional Medical Center in Richland, Washington, and an 83-year-old man who tested positive July 16 and died Aug. 1 at Good Shepherd Medical Center in Hermiston. Both had underlying conditions.