35 employees at Hillyard pasta factory test positive for COVID-19

SPOKANE, Wash.–117 people in Spokane County have tested positive for COVID-19 in the last 14 days.

Spokane Regional Health said that spike in cases comes from a “contained outbreak” at the Philadelphia Macaroni Co. pasta factory in Hillyard.

35 of 70 employees there have tested positive for the virus, and there are others who came in close contact with the employees and later tested positive.

PREVIOUS COVERAGE: Health officials confirm 31 positive COVID-19 cases at Philadelphia Macaroni plant in Spokane 

Spokane’s top health officer Dr. Bob Lutz said he spoke to state health officials Tuesday morning, and they are aware of this outbreak.

He said that is why contact tracing is so important as all of those people are now self-isolated.

The company is also still waiting on some test results for other employees.

Even without this outbreak at the pasta factory, Dr. Lutz was expecting a surge in cases as more testing became available.

“I expected to see more numbers, and I will be interested quite honestly to see what our numbers are in 10-14 days given that people were out more liberally this weekend,” Lutz said.

But, it’s important to know this current spike in cases is not a result of the county reopening. This is a reflection of those who were infected 10-14 days ago.

We’ll know more about the health impact of moving onto phase 2 in about 10 days.

Other health data lines up well for Spokane County. Six people are currently hospitalized with COVID-19 in the county, and there have been no deaths reported since May 19. That total still sits at 31.

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READ: Spokane County approved to advance to phase 2 of reopening plan