212 COVID-19 cases were identified among 1,467 employees at the Tyson Foods pork processing plant in Madison, NE, the company said in a May 12 release announcing the results of facility-wide testing conducted with the Elkhorn Logan Valley Public Health Department (ELVPHD).
112 workers were found to be positive for the virus during mass testing and another 100 infections were recorded by local healthcare workers. Of those that tested positive, 84 exhibited no symptoms of COVID-19. The testing was carried out from May to May 4 during a temporary shutdown of the plant for deep cleaning.
“Our top priority is the health and safety of our team members, and we appreciate the collaboration and support of Elkhorn Logan Valley Public Health Department as we provided testing and took steps to complement our existing prevention efforts,” Tyson Foods Vice President of Health and Safety Tom Brower said in a statement. “As we learn more about the virus, we continue to do everything we can to protect our team members and ensure they feel safe and secure when they come to work.”
Workers who test positive for coronavirus will receive paid leave and will only be permitted to return to work at the facility when they meet criteria set by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and Tyson.
“Elkhorn Logan Valley Public Health Department would like to applaud Tyson on the early identification and containment of positive COVID-19 cases at its Madison plant,” ELVPHD Health Director Gina Uhing said in the release. “Tyson’s careful attention and adherence to internal prevention policies and procedures within the plant, as well as its aggressive testing and containment activities, played a significant role in the low overall infection rate among its team members.”
Earlier this week, Powder & Bulk Solids reported that Tyson confirmed the coronavirus-related death of a worker at its Waterloo, IA pork processing plant, where more than 1,000 workers have tested positive for COVID-19.