ONTARIO – Four employees tested positive for COVID-19 at Fry Foods,Inc. in Ontario this week.

The company fired up its plant at 602 Stanton Boulevard late Wednesday morning after COVID-19 test results came back for its roughly 280 employees, according to Douglas Wold, Oregon/Idaho Fry Foods human resources manager. 

The plant reopened at roughly 80% of its normal operating capacity, Wold said. He said he anticipates the Ontario site will return to full capacity by the Memorial Day holiday.

Wold said the employees who tested positive were shocked when he broke the news to them. They said they felt fine and had no symptoms, he added. 

The company received the test results from Crush the Curve Idaho – a business-led initiative to increase testing for COVID-19. Fry Foods arranged for a drive-thru testing site in Weiser with Crush the Curve last week.

Fry Foods asked employees to follow guidelines to stay home, Wold said. None of the employees needed hospitalization. 

The Malheur County Health Department received results from Crush the Curve Wednesday.

The health department begins tracing contacts of anyone who has been found to be infected, said Sarah Poe, the agency's director.

The agency checks in daily with individuals who test positive to ensure they are isolating, usually at home. The health department also checks in with the individuals' contacts twice daily for two weeks.

The food processing plant that specializes in fried appetizer items closed last week on Thursday, May 24, and announced mandatory testing for employees the next day. 

The closure followed a shutdown of the company’s plant in Weiser, after several employees there were found to be infected.

Wold said Southwest District Health has already cleared several of the employees at the Weiser plant to return to work.

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