“Cluster” of COVID-19 cases confirmed in Washington County; food processing plant shut down

Posted at 5:13 PM, May 13, 2020
and last updated 2020-05-13 19:13:18-04

WEISER, Idaho — Fry Foods, Inc., a food distribution plant in Weiser, has been shut down after health officials found what they called “a cluster” of COVID-19 cases there.

Reports say there could be as many as five coronavirus cases in the plant.

Officials with the Southwest District Health Department say they are working closely with Fry Foods. “The company has been and continues to be very responsive and is taking appropriate precautions to ensure the health and safety of the staff,’ according to a SWDH news release.

“Fry Foods has closed their Weiser plant voluntarily. The plant will remain closed until the owners, director and Southwest District Health feel it is in the best interests of the plant’s employees and the community,” said Douglas Arnold Wold, Fry Foods, Inc. Human Resources Manager.

Epidemiologists are working to find those who have had close contacts with the people diagnosed with confirmed COVID-19, and notify them of their potential exposure.

“Individuals who do not receive a call from the health district have not been named as a close contact and do not have cause for elevated concern. As with any cluster of illness in the community, SWDH will continue to work closely to monitor and respond to any changes,” the release said.

“It is still so important to keep taking precautions to protect yourselves and those around you. Please avoid social gatherings with those not in your immediate household, continue to practice physical distancing, stay home when you are sick, wash your hands or use hand sanitizer often, and wear cloth face coverings when leaving your home,” said Nikole Zogg, Southwest District Health District Director.

Community members showing symptoms of mild to severe respiratory illness with fever, coiugh, and difficulty breathing should call first before going to their medical provider.

Residents who have questions may call the Southwest District Health COVID-19 call center at (208) 455-5411 from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday.

(photo courtesy: CDC)