16 employees at Foster Farms test positive for coronavirus

KELSO, Wash. -- The results of a second round of employee COVID-19 testing Monday at Foster Farms in southwestern Washington has revealed six new cases, and a seventh was found through a healthcare provider, county health officials said Wednesday.

A total of 16 employees at the Kelso poultry processing facility have now tested positive for the coronavirus, Cowlitz COVID-19 Incident Management Team spokesman Ralph Herrera said. He said 121 employees were tested at the facility Monday, and officials are still waiting for results from three tests, The Daily News reported.

Herrera said officials are working with Foster Farms on next steps and will discuss the test results with them early Thursday. Foster Farms employs approximately 600 people in Kelso.

Officials have said they will expand testing or consider restrictions at the plant based on how severe the outbreak becomes.

Foster Farms sanitizes the plant daily as part of USDA regulations, and employees are currently having their temperatures taken or are checked for illness symptoms before reporting to work, the company has said. Workers are required to wear face coverings while working.