Twin City Foods Covid-19 Testing

FILE — The Kittitas County Incident Management Team and Twin City Foods, Inc. organized mass testing via a drive-thru method for all  employees after a worker tested positive for COVID-19 Friday in Ellensburg.

Yakima County had 1,966 cases of COVID-19 as of Monday, an increase of 47 cases since Sunday.

That is the lowest increase in daily cases the county has seen in about a week.

The county has had an average of 65.8 new cases a day in May, well above the 35 new cases a day reported in late April.

The county also reported one new coronavirus-related death Monday, raising the total to 63. At least 58 of those deaths were from individuals with underlying health conditions.

Twenty-five residents were hospitalized as of Monday, compared to 22 Sunday. In total, 168 residents have been hospitalized for COVID-19.

The total number of individuals who have recovered from coronavirus is at 529, up from 438 Sunday. Cases have been counted since March.

Eight of Yakima County’s COVID-19 cases are tied to an outbreak at Twin City Foods, a frozen vegetable processing plant in Ellensburg.

The Kittitas County Incident Management Team started mass testing of employees Friday after the first case was reported. So far, 34 of 169 staff members tested positive for the virus, according to a news release Monday morning. Two individuals with indeterminate results will be retested.

The total number of COVID-19 cases in Kittitas County remained at 40 Monday, with 25 of those cases coming from the Twin City Foods outbreak.

Nine of the positive COVID-19 cases from Twin City Foods workers involve residents of neighboring counties. The Kittitas County team is working with health officials in Yakima and Grant counties to coordinate a response for those workers.

Lilián Bravo, director of public health partnerships for the Yakima Health District, said in an email Monday evening that the Department of Health will contact the Yakima County residents who tested positive and that additional health education will be given to residents and their close contacts.

All 34 workers who tested positive for COVID-19 are in isolation, and another 116 individuals, namely those who live with employees who were tested, are in quarantine.

The Twin City Foods facility remains closed until May 19. The Stanwood-based company is working with the Kittitas County team. Also, 19 Twin City Foods workers tasked to perform critical safety functions while the plant is closed are being monitored.

The outbreak at Twin City Foods essentially halted Kittitas County’s efforts to reach the next phase of the state’s four-phase reopening plan. The county had applied for a variance to enter Phase 2, which would enable more business and social activity to resume.

The application remains on hold as of Monday afternoon, officials said.

Reach Mai Hoang at maihoang@yakimaherald.com or Twitter @maiphoang

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