Recent outbreaks of Coronavirus have been traced back to meat processing plants.
More than 200 positive cases have been reported at Hormel Foods and Quality Pork Processors in Austin, Minn. The two-plant complex includes a Hormel plant with 1,800 employees and a hog slaughterhouse that employs 1,300 people.
Per the Minneapolis Star-Tribune, the number of COVID-19 cases in the complex had been at a couple of dozen cases as of two weeks ago, but the numbers recently spiked to a total of 231 cases between the two plants.
“We continue to take this situation very seriously and for months, our team did its part to prevent COVID from entering our facility,” exceeding federal safety guidelines, said Quality Pork President Nate Jansen in a press statement. “Unfortunately, as the COVID spread continued into our region, our team members began seeing the impact in our community.”
A spokesman for the state health department said that the evidence suggests both community spread and spread among the employees. To date, there have been a total of 1,669 meat processing plant workers who have been diagnosed with COVID-19, which accounts for about 10 percent of all cases in the state.
In Utah, a spike in COVID-19 cases in Cache County have been linked to a meat processing plant. The Utah Department of Health reported 439 new cases on Friday, including about 150 cases that were tied to the plant. The plant was not named in the statement, according to KSL News. It continues to operate, as it is deemed an essential business.
“The facility in question actually coordinated with the Utah Department of Health to come up and do some mass testing of their employees,” said Joshua Greer, a spokesman for the Bear River Health District.
Source: Minneapolis Star-Tribune, KSL TV