YHD: Union Gap Costco outbreak over after 177 workers test positive for COVID-19

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UNION GAP, Wash. — Yakima Health District officials announced Tuesday they had finished their investigation into a COVID-19 outbreak at the Union Gap Costco and believe the outbreak among employees is over.

According to health officials, a total of 177 employees tested positive for the virus between Dec. 11 and  Jan. 2. Costco committed to doing weekly, site-wide testing until the testing positivity rate was below 5%.

“This has now been observed since January 2, 2021,” health officials said in a news release. “There is no current indication of ongoing transmission among employees and this outbreak is considered to have concluded.”

Investigators were unable to identify the source of the outbreak but said, “epidemiologic data mimicked that of disease activity that occurs after a large event.”

Health officials are urging community members to continue wearing masks, practicing physical distancing and avoiding large social gatherings.

“This outbreak is a stark reminder of how rapidly COVID-19 can spread throughout our community,” said Dr. Larry Jecha, Interim Health Officer at the Yakima Health District. “We must all remain vigilant and continue to take steps to minimize the spread of the virus.”