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Nearly 150 Costco store employees test positive for COVID-19

Costco
Posted at 11:17 AM, Dec 31, 2020
and last updated 2020-12-31 14:17:48-05

YAKIMA COUNTY, Wash. — Nearly 150 employees at a Costco store in Washington State have tested positive for COVID-19, according to county health officials.

Yakima County is southeast of the Seattle area. The county’s health department released a statement this week detailing the outbreak and actions they and the store are taking.

“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,” the release from Lilian Bravo, Director of Public Health Partnerships reads.

The outbreak was first reported to the health department on Christmas Eve, at the time 68 staff members had tested positive for COVID-19.

The Yakima Health Department recommended site-wide testing after the outbreak was reported, and said Tuesday there are now 145 employees who have tested positive. All of them are currently completing their isolation and quarantine period, according to health officials.

“As Costco continues its site wide testing, we anticipate the number of cases to continue to go up over the next few days as results are received,” Melissa Sixberry, RN, Director of Disease Control stated in the release.

Costco will continue to provide on-going site-wide employee testing to monitor the outbreak. The health department says they are not recommending the store close if they follow safety precautions and recommended disinfecting and cleaning guidance.