5 workers at Smithfield Packing Co. plant in Clinton test positive for COVID-19

Local News

CLINTON, N.C. (WNCN/CNN Newsource) — Sampson County health officials said Monday that an outbreak of COVID-19 was detected at a Smithfield Packing Company plant in Clinton.

There were nine new cases of COVID-19 reported Monday in Sampson County, according to a news release from the Sampson County Health Department.

There are now 45 total positive cases in the county, the news release said.

There are five workers who have tested positive for COVID-19 at the Smithfield plant, which is located in the 400 block of East Railroad Street in Clinton.

Smithfield Packing Company is a subsidiary of Smithfield Foods.

Smithfield Foods has another plant in Tar Heel in Bladen County where at least two employees have tested positive for the coronavirus.

“Smithfield and the health department are working closely together to assure adequate follow-up is being provided to all employees,” the news release said.

One of the five Smithfield workers does not live in Sampson County, so officials said they did not count that case among the 45 total cases in the county. The county where the worker lives was not identified.

Officials said that of the 45 cases, 12 people have recovered.

All of the nine people who are new COVID-19 cases are “in stable condition and isolated at home,” the news release said.

Smithfield Foods has closed at least four plants because of COVID-19.

The company recently closed the plant in Monmouth, Illinois. It also has closed meatpacking plants in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, Cudahy, Wisconsin and Martin City, Missouri.

The Martin City plant is closing because it receives its raw materials directly from the company’s plant in Sioux Falls, Smithfield says. The plant in Sioux Falls is temporarily closed due to a COVID-19 outbreak that has sickened hundreds of employees.

The Martin City plant, which produces spiral and smoked ham, employs more than 400 people.

The company is temporarily closing its Cudahy, Wisconsin plant due to COVID-19 outbreaks in nearby communities. Smithfield says a “small number” of employees there have been diagnosed with the disease.

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