The Kittitas County Incident Management Team (IMT) is currently responding to a potential outbreak in Kittitas County and is working closely with Twin City Foods, Inc. The response includes the precautionary measures taken by Twin City Foods, Inc. along with the response capabilities of the local public health system. The response includes mass testing, facility closure and cleaning, isolation or quarantine, and assistance to affected employees.
Twin City Foods immediately closed the facility upon notification of the COVID-19 exposure and implemented their quality safety plan. The employer is working very closely with the IMT and ensuring their employees are safe and assisting to contain any potential outbreak.
All employees are being tested for COVID-19 today. Employees who do not receive testing cannot go back to work until the completion of a 14-day quarantine. The IMT collected 158 testing samples today via a drive-thru system, in order to limit exposure and expedite testing. In order to test that many people in less than 24 hours upon notification of the first case, the IMT has enlisted assistance from IMT staff, medical volunteers, volunteers from KVH, and volunteers from Kittitas Valley Fire and Rescue. All employees must self-isolate until test results are returned.
While employees are in isolation and the facility is closed, Twin City Foods, Inc. will be extensively cleaning the facility. The IMT will also provide a “walk through” of the facility to ensure the adequacy of the protocol in place to safely move forward. The IMT will also provide technical assistance for the existing safety plan.
The IMT has ensured that the Emergency Operation Center is ready to assist any employee with needs during the required isolation period.
“We are ready to respond to any additional positive COVID-19 cases in association with the 16th person who tested positive,” states Health Officer Dr. Mark Larson. “Anyone with a positive test result at Twin City Foods will be working with someone from the
IMT to discuss contacts with other people, so that we can contain the spread of COVID-19 effectively. I have been talking about how this would look for weeks and now it is time to put the plan into action.”
Kittitas County applied for a Phase 2 variance on Monday, May 4. The State has reviewed our application and was impressed by our response. Currently, the application status is on hold. “We now have the opportunity to show our community and the state that we are able to deliver on what was in our application,” states Kittitas County Public Health Director Tristen Lamb.
For general COVID-19 questions, the Emergency Operation Center is at 509-933-8315 or 509-933-8305.
Kittitas County, from the Cascades to the Columbia, and online at http://www.co.kittitas.wa.us