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570 Tyson Foods’ workers test positive for COVID-19 at Wilkesboro poultry facility

Tyson Foods said the majority of the workers did not show any symptoms and otherwise would not have been identified.
Credit: CDC, Pixabay

WILKESBORO, N.C. — Tyson Foods announced 570 of its workers tested positive for COVID-19 at its poultry facility in Wilkesboro.

That’s out of 2,244 team members and contractors at the facility who were all tested. Tyson Foods said the majority of the workers did not show any symptoms and otherwise would not have been identified.

Tyson Foods said 237 workers were tested by the Department of Health while seeking their own health care. An additional 2,007 workers were tested onsite from May 6 to May 9.

Those who tested positive received paid leave and will later return to work after meeting the criteria established by the CDC and Tyson.

“We are working closely with local health departments to protect our team members and their families, and to help manage the spread of the virus in our communities,” said Tom Brower, Senior Vice President of Health and Safety for Tyson Foods. “We are using the most up-to-date data and resources to support our team members, and we are committed to ensuring they feel safe and secure when they come to work.”

Workers at the plant have access to daily clinical symptom screenings, nurse practitioners, and enhanced education.

Production has begun to ramp up at the facility, where operations were limited on May 14 to carry out additional deep cleaning.

Tyson is also taking protective steps for preventing COVID-19 by screening workers before shifts, providing mandatory protective face masks, as well as a range of social distancing measures.

“Our team members are essential to helping to feed the nation, and their health and safety is always our first priority,” said Kevin Taylor, Complex Manager for Wilkesboro facility. “Disclosing our testing results will help better protect our team members and help provide the wider Wilkesboro community with the information it needs to stop the spread of the virus.”

Tyson has doubled its “thank you” bonus for its frontline workers.

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