Gilbert Orchards suffers COVID-19 outbreak, 45 infections reported
YAKIMA, Wash. — Public health officials announced that an orchard near the Wiley City section of Yakima has returned nearly four dozen positive COVID-19 test results.
According to a release issued by the Yakima Health District, health officials were notified of 45 COVID-19 cases stemming from Gilbert Orchards on Thursday. Located at 10804 Gilbert Rd in Yakima, all employees are being required to take a COVID-19 test every three-to-seven days.
Under the health district’s recommendation, Gilbert Orchards management will have to continually monitor staff for coronavirus symptoms while ensuring that social distancing guidelines and proper mask usage are being followed. Otherwise, the outbreak could continue to grow.
Gilbert Orchards is expected to require staff testing until 14 days after the last positive test was identified. Cohort workgroups and living situations have been recommended by Yakima health leaders to limit community transmission amongst staff members. Additional cases must be reported to the YHD so they can provide additional resources and guidance to help curb the outbreak.
Melissa Sixberry, who is the Director of Disease Control for the Yakima Health District, noted that this is another example of why it’s important for community members to get vaccinated.
“This is another reminder of the importance to get vaccinated to prevent the spread of COVID-19. The more community members that are vaccinated, the less opportunity there is for this virus to spread,” Sixberry said. “If you are not yet vaccinated, it is crucial to follow public health recommendations, such as wearing a mask and social distancing. Let us all do our part to ensure the community is safe.”
Health officials say that the Washington State Department of Labor and Industries has been notified.
Gilbert Orchards produces and sells organic fruit including a variety of apples and pears. They’re also known for fresh nectarines, apricots and cherries. Their fruit is sold wholesale both domestically and internationally.
According to the orchard’s website, it prides itself on providing the best health for the community, the planet and their team. They pride themselves on “safe production methods, responsible use of resources, welfare of workers and protection of scarce resources.”
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