16 employees test positive for COVID-19 at Gourmet Trading Co. in Pasco

Gourmet Farms, Pasco

PASCO, Wash. — A local asparagus packing plant has had 16 employees test positive for COVID-19, according to spokespersons from the Benton-Franklin Health District and Gourmet Trading Company.

Gourmet Farms Washington employs over 700 seasonal workers at its Pasco processing facility. In a statement, the company said they have taken multiple steps to protect the health and safety of their workers since the pandemic began. That includes conducting temperature checks and screening for symptoms at the start of every work shift, disinfecting work areas after every shift, adding hand washing and hand sanitizing stations throughout the facility and mandating social distancing in all work and break areas.

In May, a number of employees tested positive for COVID-19. According to the Benton-Franklin Health District, 16 cases have since been confirmed to be positive.

A company spokesperson said in a statement that they have notified all employees that may have been in contact with the affected employees and are having them quarantine at home and monitor for symptoms. They have also instituted deep disinfecting and cleaning of any work areas frequented by those employees.

The company is continuing to work closely with the Benton-Franklin Health Department and continuing to closely monitor the situation. They say there is no indication at this time that any of the affected employees were infected with the virus at their facility.