More than 50 seasonal contract strawberry harvest workers for Planasa in MacDoel tested positive for COVID-19 before they started work in the last two weeks, according to company officials. 54 of the 452 individuals the company tested as a precaution before harvest began near MacDoel were confirmed COVID-19 positive. According to the Herald and News the case numbers were first attributed to Siskiyou County, CA, but because the workers lived and quarantined in Klamath Falls during the past two weeks, the case numbers released on Thursday are listed among Klamath County’s caseload.
All workers were asymptomatic and none were hospitalized, according to Klamath County Public Health. Officials are emphasizing there is no risk of community contagion from the outbreak. Contract workers for Planasa were immediately placed in protected housing in Klamath Falls after they tested positive, according to Michael Delaney, U.S. Business Director for Planasa.
The facility remains operational in MacDoel. Contract workers who tested negative for COVID-19 continue to perform their seasonal work. Temperature checks for workers are enforced at the facility, according to Delaney, and individuals with higher than 100.4 degrees are sent home and tested for COVID-19. CDC guidelines are also enforced, according to Delaney.
Klamath County Public Health said that seasonal workers tested positive with little to no symptoms and are currently in their 14-day quarantine period.
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