Farmworkers test positive for COVID-19 at Washington orchard

Farmworkers test positive for COVID-19 at Washington orchard

WASHINGTON — Dozens of workers at a Central Washington orchard have tested positive for COVID-19 but were apparently not showing signs of the illness.

Stemilt Ag Services, which operates the orchard, and local health officials tested the farmworkers in East Wenatchee after some fruit packaging warehouse workers tested positive.

The company said it decided to expand testing to orchard workers as a precaution.

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The company says of the 71 agricultural workers who were tested, 36 were positive for COVID-19.

United Farm Workers and other advocates filed a lawsuit earlier this month against Washington state, arguing that farmworkers do not have adequate protections.