USA, Springdale, Ark. After testing 1,142 workers on-site at Tyson Foods’ chicken processing plant in Noel, Mo., in addition to testing by the Missouri Department of Health & Senior Services and other cases confirmed by some workers’ health care providers, Tyson officials confirmed on a total of 371 employees of the facility tested positive for the coronavirus (COVID-19).
On-site testing at the plant was conducted from 17-19 June, according to the company, which identified 291 positive cases among workers. Of those, 249 people showed no symptoms of the virus. Tyson said the facility-wide testing in Noel was conducted with Matrix Medical and was one of 40 locations where it is implementing testing and prevention programs across the country.
The company has conducted approximately 40,000 tests in the United States, representing about one-third of its employees in the country. Per company policy, workers testing positive are put on paid leave while on quarantine and must be cleared to return to work by meeting criteria established by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and Tyson Foods.
Tyson’s large-scale testing method is designed to protect employees and the communities where it operates facilities while maintaining the supply chain for its customers. State health officials approve of the company’s approach and programs.
Tyson’s program includes protecting workers at its processing plants by requiring workers to be screened for symptoms before shifts and providing them with face masks. Social distancing measures include installation of workstation and break room barriers and deploying more than 500 social distancing monitors across its facilities.