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COVID-19 Cluster at Tyson Plant Declared “Closed”

Officials said a cluster of COVID-19 cases at a Tyson Foods plant in North Carolina was eliminated as of August 12.

A cluster COVID-19 cases at the Tyson Foods meat processing plant in Wilkesboro, NC has been “closed,” the Wilkes County Health Department announced in release this week. The public health agency said the facility completed two 14-day incubation periods where no new infections were reported.

Tyson’s Wilkesboro plant logged 612 positive coronavirus cases since April. A cluster consists of a minimum of five cases with illness onsets or initial positive results within a two-week term,  according to the department.

“Tyson Foods’ team has been wonderful to work with. Since April we have been able to work together to slow the spread [of] the virus and implement changes across the plant and complex,” Rachel Willard, health director for Wilkes County Public Health, said in a statement. “Tyson Food continues to work hard to ensure the health and safety of their team members and community.”

Powder & Bulk Solids reported this May that testing of all 2,244 employees at the Wilkesboro poultry plant revealed 570 positive cases. Most of the infected workers did not exhibit physical symptoms. 

Production at the Wilkesboro plant was reduced on May 14 to allow the company to perform a deep cleaning of the building. Since then, Tyson has put a range of safety measures in place, including temperature checks, mandatory face masks for workers, and social distancing practices. The company said the facility is in the process of ramping operations back up. 

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