Nearly 600 employees at the Tyson Foods factory reopened after a thorough test positive for coronavirus
A Tyson Foods chicken processing plant in North Carolina that reopened after a thorough cleanup, announced that nearly 600 workers have now tested positive for coronavirus.
The company confirmed on Wednesday that 570 of its 2,244 full-time and contract employees were infected at the Wilkesboro factory.
It is probably one of the largest coronavirus outbreaks in the state, affecting 25.4 percent of the facility’s workforce.
Meat processing plants have become major outbreak hotspots across the country, with more than 14,000 cases among workers worried about the country’s food supply chain.
Companies say they have increased security measures, but unions have issued a warning that federal safety guidelines can be ignored, putting workers at risk.
A Tyson Foods chicken processing facility in Wilkesboro, North Carolina, pictured above, reported that 25.4 percent of its workers tested positive for coronavirus
Tyson Foods, pictured at a factory in Springdale, Arkansas, has said they have implemented tighter security measures, but as the outbreaks in the factories worsened this week, unions expressed concern that the new procedures may not be in place, putting workers at risk are being brought
Tyson Foods said that the majority of workers who tested positive at the Wilkesboro factory showed no symptoms and if they had not been tested ‘otherwise wouldn’t have been identified.’
The company had tested 2,007 factory workers for the virus between May 6 and May 9.
The other employees were tested by the provincial health department or through their health insurer.
“We work closely with local health departments to protect our team members and their families and to help control the spread of the virus in our communities,” said Tom Brower, Tyson’s senior vice president for health and safety.
The company added that those who test positive will be placed on paid leave and will not return to work until “they have met the criteria set by both the CDC and Tyson.”
Two of the three factories in the facility were already temporarily closed for cleaning after the factory outbreak was first reported in April.
Tyson announced on May 14 that it would perform a second temporary shutdown of its Fresh Plant 2 facility, which was completed on Tuesday.
Employees of Tyson Foods in Texas claim that 300 workers have tested positive for the corona virus and that the forklift driver has died at the factory
A forklift driver at a Tyson Food factory in Sherman, Texas has died of the corona virus.
The man in his fifties became the first person in Grayson County to die of the disease.
He had been tested for coronavirus a few days before, but was still waiting for results.
All factory employees were tested last week, but will continue to work until they receive results.
An anonymous employee said CBS that people are asked to leave the plant and quarantine if their positive results come in.
Factory employees say that nearly 300 factory employees have tested positive.
The Fresh Plant 1 facility was operated on a limited scale and reopened after cleaning.
The company has temporarily closed at least seven facilities for thorough cleaning across the country, including three in Iowa and one in Indiana, Nebraska and Washington.
According to Statesville.comin those factories there were 3,500 infected workers.
Tyson Food is one of the food processing companies forced to implement stricter health and safety procedures against the corona virus, while struggling to keep its factories open.
The company has implemented daily clinical symptom checks for employees and provides on-site nurses and improved education.
JBS has also introduced increased safety measures, including temperature controls and face masks, but workers fear this is not enough
According to CBS Newsthere are now more than 14,000 cases of coronavirus in at least 181 meat processing plants in the United States.
At least 54 employees have died.
Trade unions have expressed concerns that the new security measures taken need not be properly implemented.
Comprehensive guidance released last month by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that meat packers erect physical barriers, enforce social distances, and install more hand sanitizing stations, among other steps.
But the guidance is not mandatory.
“It’s like,” This is what we want you to do. But if you don’t want it, you don’t have to, “said Mark Lauritsen, international vice president and director of the food processing and meat packaging division for the United Food and Commercial Workers International Union.
Tyson has already closed at least seven factories temporarily for thorough cleaning, but the outbreaks are continuing. An employee of a factory in Texas died while waiting for the results of his coronavirus test
Tyson Foods confirmed on Wednesday that 570 of 2,244 full-time and contract employees are infected at the Wilkesboro factory, pictured above. Two parts of the factory were temporarily closed for deep cleaning and reopened after the April outbreak
OSHA’s general guidelines clearly state that the recommendations are advisory and “no standard or regulation,” and create “no new legal obligations.”
But the guidance also says that employers should follow a law known as the general duty clause, which requires companies to provide a workplace free from recognized hazards.
Coronavirus outbreak hits Kraft Heinz’s Missouri plant, the sole producer of Oscar-Mayer Bologna
The Kraft Heinz processing plant in Kirksville, Missouri, announced on Wednesday that several workers tested positive for coronavirus
The facility is the only facility that produces all Oscar-Mayer bologna sold in the United States.
Michael Mullen, the senior vice president of Corporate Affairs at Kraft Heinz, said a “handful of” workers were affected.
They are at home in full-wage self-quarantine, he added.
The factory employs approximately 900 people in Kirksville.
Critics say it is unlikely that this rule will be enforced, especially after President Donald Trump signed an executive order to keep meat factories open in April.
The closure of meat processing plants across the country has a drastic effect on the countries’ food supply chain.
Limited closures and absenteeism from workers also mean that the facilities are unable to process the same amount of products supplied by farmers.
Amid the closings of the meat processing plant, there have been reports of farmers euthanizing livestock and pigs, while dairy farmers have discarded milk production due to distribution problems.
School and restaurant closings have also directly affected demand.
President of Tyson Foods John Tyson recently noted that “the food supply chain is breaking” as he warned that “millions of pounds of meat will disappear from the supply chain” and that “our products will be limited in supermarkets until we close our facilities that are currently closed.”
“In addition to meat shortages, this is a serious food waste problem,” he added.
“Farmers across the country simply will not be able to sell their livestock for processing anywhere, while they could have fed the land. Millions of animals – chickens, pigs and cattle – will be depopulated due to the closure of our processing facilities. ‘
Despite this, stocks in food processing companies like Tyson and Kraft Heinz are slowly increasing after a decline in mid-March, even as new factory outbreaks emerge.
At another Tyson Food factory in Texas, a forklift driver became the first person in Grayson County to die of coronavirus this week.
This Tyson Foods factory in Sherman, Texas is also having an outbreak. All factory employees were tested last week, but will continue to work until they get results, says one employee
Factory workers say nearly 300 factory workers tested positive, CBS reports.
The man, in his 50s, had been tested for coronavirus a few days before his death, but was still waiting for results.
He felt short of breath and drove to the hospital where he suffered cardiac arrest.
Every employee at the Tyson Foods factory in Sherman had been tested last week, but they all continue to work pending results.
The company said it started testing workers’ temperature before admitting them inside the building.
“I mean, today they actually came just because they got results, they came and got people and escorted the building and told them to quarantine for two weeks,” an anonymous employee told CBS.
“So basically they just come up to you and say,” Hey, I want you to come with me. ” And they bring you to the door, almost as if you were fired, which would be humiliation to me. ‘
Employees added that about 1,000 tests have returned negative, but they are still waiting for the results of hundreds more.
The company said it wouldn’t release the number of positive cases at the factory until all the results are in.
“We are saddened by the loss of a Tyson team member and empathize with their family in this difficult time. At Tyson Foods, our top priority is the health and safety of our team members, ” said Tyson spokesperson Derek Burelson.
A new outbreak was reported on Wednesday at a Kraft Heinz factory in Missouri.
The Kirksville facility is the only facility to produce all Oscar-Mayer bologna sold in the United States.
“A handful of Kraft Heinz employees at our Kirksville, Missouri facility have tested positive for Coronavirus (COVID-19) and are quarantined at home with full pay,” said Michael Mullen, senior vice president of corporate affairs at Kraft Heinz, the Kirksville Daily Express.
“We have taken all necessary measures to identify and notify individuals who have worked closely with these employees. We have taken several proactive measures to ensure the well-being of our people and help reduce the risk of exposure or transmission of viruses. ‘
The factory employs approximately 900 people.
A coronavirus outbreak was confirmed at this Kraft Heinz factory in Missouri on Wednesday. The facility is the only facility that produces all Oscar-Mayer bologna sold in the United States
News of the outbreak came when the Missouri Chamber of Commerce asked for a law protecting companies from lawsuits from sick employees.
According to the Colombia Stand, the Chamber urged Governor Mike Parson to take action to prevent coronavirus-related lawsuits.
In a letter, they said it was an “emerging problem in Missouri.”
President of the Chamber Daniel P. Mehan added that companies that “make good faith efforts and take appropriate precautions should not be faced with a crippling lawsuit.”
Despite the measures taken, workers in processing plants remain concerned and some fear losing their salary if they speak up.
Ryan Brown, an employee of a meat processing plant in Nebraska, told CBS that despite the new safety protocol, “there are places where you literally stand shoulder to shoulder with someone.”
An employee has already died of the coronavirus in the factory and according to Statistics Netherlands, doctors have recommended shutting it down.
Temperature checks and face masks have been enforced and workers are paid emergency wages, but they are not paid if they become infected and have to stay at home.
“There is no really viable way to keep us all two meters apart,” Brown added.
“If you jeopardize people’s lives, I don’t think you can put a grade on that.”
On Tuesday, the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration announced a new Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) designed to prevent disruptions in FDA-regulated food supplies, including the processing of fruits and vegetables.
It came as the country approached peak harvesting seasons when many fruits and vegetables grown in the United States are sent to be frozen or canned.
“We are deeply grateful to essential workers for everything they do every day to keep our pantries, refrigerators, and freezers stocked,” the FDA said in a statement.
The entire food and agriculture sector – whether regulated by the USDA or the FDA – is considered critical infrastructure and it is vital for public health that they continue to operate in accordance with the CDC and OSHA guidelines on to workers health and safety.
“As we work to meet the current challenge together, we remain committed to employee safety, ensuring food availability and keeping our food among the safest in the world.”