Lincoln County Health and Human Services held a press briefing this afternoon. Discussed was the influx of cases in Lincoln County with the majority (124) coming from workers and contractors at Pacific Seafood. Dr. David Long Lincoln County Health Officer said "Covid 19 is viral, very infectious and lethal." The County has done very well over the last 3-months in protecting it's citizens.
Lincoln County has had one more case announced today. It is someone in their 30's it is not connected to the outbreak at Pacific Seafood and is considered community spread. This person has been hospitalized. Based on the number of cases in the county and with contact tracing capabilities just getting underway It was pointed out that Lincoln County will remain in phase one. The Oregon Health Authority will not take away the counties phase one status. Lincoln County will not be moving forward with phase two in the near future.
According to Rebecca Austin Lincoln County Health Director the county is currently at 156 cases. Of those from Pacific Seafood 95% are asymptomatic, not showing signs of any symptoms. They are in the process of conducting contact tracing on the 124 as soon as the county receives the names of those that tested positive from Pacific Seafood.
The employees and contractors are being asked to self quarantine for the next 14 days as well as any family members or those who have had close contact with someone who tested positive. Close contact is defined as being within 6 feet of a confirmed case for 15 minutes or longer, without a face covering. This means staying at home or in your hotel/other living arrangements. This includes staying home from work and not going out to shop for supplies. Someone from public health will reach out to you in the coming days. If you do not hear from someone in a few days, contact the Health and Human Services call center at 541-265-0621.
It was pointed out that the workers and contractors who have tested positive from Pacific Seafood are those who live in Lincoln County. There are a few workers who were brought in from outside the country from the Ukraine and Serbia, however they have not started working yet since their arrival and have not tested positive. They have not worked at the plant, which is currently shut down while the company is conducting sanitation and cleaning protocols. Operations at the seafood plants remain suspended for the time being at all five locations, including Pacific Whiting, Pacific Shrimp, Pacific Fillet, Pacific Surimi, and Pacific Bio Products.
Commissioners discussed the required 24-hour hold for lodging establishments. This is put in place to allow for time before cleaning. It is also recommended by Air B&B's as guidance to their establishments. Commissioner Hall stated "We need to operate under the assumption that everyone has it, as soon as we give up the 24-hour hold the virus could spread even more."