SIOUX CITY, Iowa (KCAU) – Seaboard Triumph Foods (STF) has confirmed a total of 34 of its employees have tested positive for COVID-19 at the Sioux City plant.
The company said that two of them have recovered and were released by their doctor or local health department and cleared by Human Resources to come back to work.
In an official release, STF mentions that “as soon as we find out about an employee testing positive for COVID-19, we identify where they are assigned to immediately notify anyone who may have been in contact with those who test positive.”
Officials said employees who are being tested are not allowed to return to work until they’ve been cleared by Human Resources.
Those with a confirmed case of the virus are provided support through the company’s COVID-19 paid leave and health benefits programs that include two weeks of normal wages.
STF also mentions that employees who are considered high-risk are encouraged to apply for a leave of absentee from May 4 through May 31 through their short-term Special Pandemic Peak Pay program.
All of their employees will continue to be encouraged to stay at home, if they feel sick.
The company said they “recognized the important role in ensuring we continue to supply food in America in this time of crisis, we will continue to do everything we can to protect the health of our employees and we complete this important mission.”
STF mentions as part of their normal operations, they have a strong anti-bacterial and anti-viral sanitization and sterilization protocols in place under the FDA and USDA oversight.
Officials said they’re following CDC recommendations and have also implemented preventive measures and resources to help their team continue plant operations while addressing the COVID-19 pandemic.
Some of the health measures that STF has put in place to help fight the spread of the coronavirus includes:
- Pre-Screen: We take the temperature of employees at time of entry.
- Face Masks: Employees are required to wear a face mask at all times at work, which are being supplied by the company. Face shields have been on ordered.
- Regular Monitoring: We’ve instructed the onsite health services office to monitor anyone with flu-like symptoms and determine if there needs to be additional steps taken to care for that person. We continue to ask any employees who don’t feel well to stay at home and self-isolate while being assessed by health services or web-based medical services.
- Social Distance: We’ve implemented physical distancing protocols where possible throughout the operational and employee common areas of the plant. Line speeds have been modified to expand space between employees to the greatest extent feasible. The plant is currently operating at less than full capacity in order to maximize distancing. We’ve also installed new protective systems like plexiglass dividers on cafeteria tables and expanded seating areas to help our employees maintain physical distancing guidelines in break areas. Clock in/out stations in the plant were rearranged to minimize lines and increase separation at the employee entrance. Break times are staggered to increase separation in common areas. Departments have been placed on staggered start times to reduce congestion.
- Disinfect and Clean Workspaces: We’ve increase janitorial tasks to include regularly sanitizing all areas of the plant, such as offices, bathrooms, common areas, shared electronic equipment, and commonly touched surfaces. In addition, we’ve also begun routinely using antiviral fog in employee common areas and offices. Filters on air handling units were replaced in March.