224 workers at Council Bluffs Tyson plant test positive for COVID-19

Iowa News

SPRINGDALE, Ark. (KCAU) – Tyson Foods has announced on Tuesday that 224 of the employees at the Council Bluffs plant have tested positive for COVID-19.

The company released the results of the facility-wide testing for the virus at its Council Bluffs case-ready beef and pork facility.

Out of the 1,483 employees that work at the plant and were tested, 224 of them tested positive, and 103 of whom have been through their required absence and have now returned to work.

Tyson said more than half of the individuals who tested positive didn’t show any symptoms and otherwise wouldn’t have been identified.

Of the employees, 79 people were tested by the Department of Health or when seeking care through their own healthcare providers and an additional 145 were tested onsite from May 14 to May 16.

The company stated that the team members who were positive have received paid leave during the quarantine period and may return to work only when they’ve met the criteria that have established by both the CDC and Tyson.

Tyson mentions that the Council Bluff facility is among more than 40 production facilities in the U.S. where it’s rolling out advanced testing capabilities and enhanced care options onsite to its team members in partnership with MATRIX MEDICAL, a landing medical clinical services company, and other partners.

The company said it’s prioritizing communities with a higher prevalence of the virus and will assess additional needs based on significant risk factors and access to testing.

Tyson will disclose the test results at the other plants where it’s conducting facility-wide testing to the health and government officials, team members, and stakeholders as part of its efforts to help the affected communities where it operates to better understand the coronavirus and the protective measures that can be taken to help prevent the spread, as it’s doing at the Council Bluffs facility.

“At Tyson, our team members come first, and we are focused on ensuring they feel safe and secure when they come to work. We are proud that our decision to conduct large scale testing and disclose the results will provide our community with the latest information to help mitigate the virus and further protect our team members and their families,” said Tom Brower, Senior Vice President of Health and Safety for Tyson Foods.

The company said the employees at the Council Bluffs Tyson Foods plant have access to daily clinical screenings, nurse practitioners, and enhanced education.

Tyson has also put in place a host of protective steps that either meet or exceed the CDC and OSHA guidance for stopping the virus.

The company has increased the short-term disability coverage to 90% of the normal pay until June 30 to encourage its team members to stay at home when they’re sick. Tyson has also doubled its “thank you” bonus for its frontline workers. The team members who can’t come to work because of illness or childcare issues related to COVID-19 will continue to qualify.

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