Update on Twin City Foods outbreak

Bailey Tomlinson, News Editor

Note: This story was updated on May 11 after originally being posted on May 10.

Kittitas County has 49 confirmed cases of COVID-19 as of May 10, with that number subject to change as more test results come through. All who have tested positive are currently stable and none have required hospitalization. 

Out of 169 Twin City Foods employees who have been tested so far, 34 have tested positive with the majority showing symptoms, according to a Kittitas County Public Health Department (KCPHD) press release.

The county’s variance application remains on hold. According to an email from the Washington Department of Health, Kittitas County is currently the only application still listed as under review.

Though the application has been put on hold, KCPHD Health Officer Dr. Mark Larson asked residents to begin preparing for phase two activities.

The 34 people who have tested positive are currently in isolation. There are 116 additional people under quarantine, including household members of those who tested positive. Additionally, 19 people considered critical workers at Twin City Foods despite the plan being closed are affected and remaining home. 

Anyone who is exposed to COVID-19 is encouraged to isolate or quarantine in their own homes, but the IMT will work closely with those who cannot feasibly do so to find an appropriate location. 

Public Information Officer Kasey Knutson said that numbers on the Community Impact Dashboard may not reflect numbers being reported due to the dashboard counting only those who have an address in Kittitas County.

Only people who have a residence in Kittitas County are added to the county’s numbers. The IMT is working with both Grant and Yakima county health jurisdictions to respond to cases for those not living in Kittitas County. 

The Kittitas County Incident Management Team (IMT) is continuing to respond to the outbreak at the Twin City Foods, and is contacting people regarding test results. Both positive and negative test results will receive contact from the IMT.

Twin City Foods will remain closed until May 19, and will be visited today by Larson to receive assistance in how to prevent any further outbreaks.

The IMT is working personally with those who tested positive to gain more information about  health status, onset of symptoms, potential contacts with others and any needs they may have.

Businesses can access resources for creating safety plans on the county website. Individuals and households can also prepare by planning ahead for the possibility of having to quarantine or isolate and identifying loved ones or organizations that can assist in supporting them.


May 10 – 34 new cases of COVID-19 confirmed in Kittitas County

34 new cases of COVID-19 have been confirmed by the Kittitas County Public Health Department (KCPHD) after an outbreak at a Twin City Foods Inc. 20 associated tests are still pending test results. Kittitas County now has 40 confirmed cases of COVID-19, with 43 pending according to the Community Impact Dashboard.

Kittitas County’s variance application remains on hold at this time. More information is expected Monday, May 11.

The Incident Management Team (IMT) began mass testing for all employees at the Twin City Foods location on May 8 after being notified that one employee had tested positive. According to a KCPHD press release, over 20% of the Twin City Foods employees have tested positive.

The Twin City Foods location will be closed for an additional 10 days and will continue to work closely with the IMT to manage the outbreak and ensure those who have been exposed can safely isolate. The IMT have implemented their plans of mass testing, isolation and quarantine, and contact tracing.

Employees who did not receive testing cannot return to work until after a 14 day quarantine period. 

“We are handling this response,” Kittitas County Public Health Officer Dr. Mark Larson said.  “We have not exceeded our capacity to respond to this situation.”

General questions can be directed to the Emergency Operation Center at 509-933-8315 or 509-933-8305. Information is available via the county website and the Kittitas County Public Health Department Facebook page.