Almost 150 employees have tested positive for COVID-19 since the end of December at one Costco location in Washington, but the warehouse in Yakima remains open.
In a response to 68 employees testing positive, the Yakima Health District "conducted a site visit on Dec. 23, 2020 and concluded that there was not an increased risk of COVID-19 transmission to the public so long as staff and customers continue to follow safety precautions," it said in a Dec. 24 press release. However, that number quickly doubled—and at least 145 employees have been infected. (To stay healthy right now, here is The One Vitamin Doctors Are Urging Everyone to Take Right Now.)
"All 145 individuals that have tested positive are currently completing their isolation or quarantine period," the group said in a follow-up press release on Dec. 29. "After reviewing the number of cases, and the timeline in which they were identified, there is evidence to show that this sharp increase in cases mimics the type of activity that happens after some sort of superspreader event where multiple people are infected at the same time."
Moving forward, the Yakima Health District recommended that Costo conduct weekly site-wide testing—even for those whom haven't had close contact with another individual with COVID-19. But the group didn't recommend closing the store.
"Other businesses in the community that have closed after identifying positive cases of COVID-19 have decided to do so on their own, out of an abundance of caution, and not because of a recommendation to close from the Yakima Health District," it said.
Eat This, Not That! has reached out to Costco for comment regarding the COVID-19 outbreak in Yakima.
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