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Three New Workplace COVID-19 Clusters In Lane County

Alachua County (public domain)

Lane County Public Health Thursday announced three new workplace clusters for COVID-19.

There are 15 cases at Oregon Beverage Recycling Cooperative processing facility (Lane County Public Health identified the cases previously as being at the BottleDrop-- OBRC is at the same location as Bottle Drop in Eugene, but distinct from BottleDrop) , 17 cases at Seneca Sawmill in Noti, and 6 cases at Kingsford in Springfield.

Public Health spokesperson Jason Davis said all three are working closely with public health on contact tracing and reducing the spread of COVID-19. He says transmission isn’t generally occurring while people are working.

“The problem is when individuals are off duty but still at work and that’s where we’re seeing the transmission happen and this is nothing new.” Davis said, “This is a theme that we can trace back to May and June where we had individuals getting sick on their breaks. Same ...thing continues to happen.”

Davis said public health is working to remind people that wearing a mask, social distancing and washing hands are the best way to avoid the spread of COVID-19.

Lane County is unlikely it’ll meet the state’s metrics for bringing students grades K-3 back to in-person learning for some time, according to Davis.

Lane County’s positivity rate for COVID-19 is at 6.%, well above the state’s threshold of 5% per 100-thousand. Jason Davis with Lane County Public Health hopes that can be a motivator for people to wear masks and social distance to help prevent the spread of the virus.

“If you don’t have any contact with elderly people or individuals who are in at-risk groups, those aren’t reasons enough for you, then please do it for our K-3 kids.” Davis said. “Because, ultimately, I think parents and teachers and everybody would like to see those kids back in classrooms when it’s safe.”

Davis said Public Health expects numbers to keep increasing for the coming weeks. He says most transmission is occurring at small social gatherings and among young people. There were 60 new positive cases this week among University of Oregon students. 

Copyright 2020 KLCC.

Rachael McDonald is KLCC’s host for All Things Considered on weekday afternoons. She also is the editor of the KLCC Extra, the daily digital newspaper. Rachael has a BA in English from the University of Oregon. She started out in public radio as a newsroom volunteer at KLCC in 2000.
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