Firestone employee says company didn’t do all it could have
VANCOUVER, Wash. (KOIN) — More than a dozen more people linked to Firestone Pacific Foods tested positive for COVID-19, Clark County health officials said Thursday.
An employee at the fruit processing plant in Vancouver spoke with KOIN 6 News about his personal experience with the outbreak as he waits out his quarantine at home. The man, whose identity is being withheld, said he started showing symptoms on Tuesday, May 19 — the day after the company halted operations.
“Been pretty exhausted,” he said. “Migraines, stuff like that.”
By Thursday, he and 73 of Firestone’s 165-person workforce had tested positive for the virus.
When asked about the company’s safety measures, the unnamed employee said, “I’m not an expert in PPE or anything like that or pandemic control but you don’t get that much of an outbreak without doing something a little bit wrong.”
Firestone CEO Josh Hinerfeld said the company immediately informed the Clark County Health Department when the first employee tested positive on May 19. The county ordered Firestone to pause all operations the same day to prevent further spread of the virus between employees. But the outbreak continued.
Hinerfeld said Firestone put several measures in place starting in March, including requiring face masks and daily temperature checks of every employee. He said they also asked workers to socially distance but it was hard to enforce, especially when employees took breaks.
The unnamed employee said he also noticed the safety measures being ignored.
“When our temperature is checked as we go in we ...
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