More than 200 employees at Nebraska Tyson plant test positive for coronavirus
A Tyson plant in Madison, Nebraska that was closed temporarily for cleaning at the beginning of May had 212 workers test positive for COVID-19, which is about 15 percent of the more than 1,400 workers, contractors and vendors who were tested.
According to a Tyson release, 74 of those people had no symptoms.
“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,” said Tom Brower, senior vice president of health and safety for Tyson Foods, in the release. “As we learn more about this 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. We’re proud of our Tyson team members and are supporting them with the most up-to-date information and resources to take care of their health.”
The mass testing took place between May 1-May 4 and those who tested positive will receive paid leave and will not return until they meet the CDC and Tyson’s criteria to do so.
Additionally, Tyson increased short-term disability benefits to 90 percent of normal pay to encourage those who are sick to stay home. It has also doubled its “thank you” bonus.
“Tyson is the largest food company in the United States, and we are embracing our responsibility to lead during this unprecedented time,” said Steve Stouffer, group president, Tyson Fresh Meats, in the release. “We will continue to ensure that we are at the forefront of the industry when it comes to safety, exploring new ways to keep our team members healthy and protect our communities as we work to keep food on America’s tables.”
According to the Omaha World-Herald, about 15 percent of Nebraska’s positive COVID-19 tests have come from meat packing plants.