Outbreak at farm sparks Douglas County's highest daily case increase

It’s the largest daily increase of cases since the start of the pandemic.

Posted: Jul 23, 2020 12:51 PM

DOUGLAS COUNTY, Ore. – Douglas County public health officials added 20 new positive cases of coronavirus to their count on Thursday amid a workplace outbreak.

It’s the largest daily increase of cases since the start of the pandemic.

A majority of the new cases are tied to an ongoing investigation of an outbreak at Norris Farms. So far 22 people have tested positive in connection with Norris Farms, including employees and household members and others.

“Today serves as a wakeup call for everyone in Douglas County. This virus is still very active, and it’s in Douglas County,” Commissioner Tim Freeman said.

Oregon Health Authority responded to the outbreak on July 22.

“This is an unfortunate situation and we will continue to work closely with Norris Farms. I remain certain that the risk of this outbreak to the public is low. The increase in positive tests for this workplace is not totally unexpected, as many of the workers came from other States that have a high level or hot spots of COVID-19 cases,” said Douglas County public health officer Dr. Bob Dannenhoffer.

The company has been testing, promoting social distancing and hygiene, and has been conducting daily screening on-site. They worked with public health to have more than 300 tests done for their employees, Dannenhoffer said.

Norris Farms is family-owned and operated and has been in the Umpqua Valley since 1976.

For a full statement from the company, click here

The county’s total of new confirmed and presumptive cases is now at 107.

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