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Tyson Foods, Inc., publicly revealed the results after performing facility-wide testing at one of its plants in Wilkesboro, N.C.
The results not only showed that several hundred workers at the plant had tested positive for COVID-19, but the majority of workers who tested positive were not showing any symptoms. Workers who tested positive will receive paid leave and will not return to work until they have met requirements set by the CDC and Tyson.
In a press release on its website, Tyson revealed that 570 workers tested positive at the plant, where 2,244 team members were tested. While 237 workers were either tested by their doctors or the Department of Health, the majority were tested onsite from May 6 to May 9.
Tom Brower, Senior Vice President of Health and Safety for Tyson Foods, said, “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. 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.”
“Our team members are essential to helping to feed the nation, and their health and safety is always our first priority,” Complex Manager Kevin Taylor said. “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.”
The testing was part of a move by Tyson to roll out extensive testing and care options at plants located in or near communities with a high volume of COVID-19 infections. The company says it will share the results with government officials, team members and stakeholders.
Over the last several weeks, Tyson Foods facilities across the country had been forced to temporarily shutter following issues related to COVID-19, prompting chairman John H. Tyson to take out full-page ads in The New York Times, Washington Post and Arkansas Democrat-Gazette to outline the company’s response to the ongoing coronavirus health crisis. He also stated that further closures — not only of Tyson Foods facilities but competitors’ facilities as well — would put stress on the nation’s food supply.
Fox New's Michael Bartiromo contributed to this report.