Tyson Foods limiting operations at Wilkesboro plant following confirmed cases of COVID-19

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WILKESBORO, N.C. (FOX 46 CHARLOTTE)- Tyson Foods is limiting its operations at its poultry processing plant in Wilkesboro, N.C. after a number of positive cases of COVID-19 and multiple instances of quarantine.

“The health and safety of our team members, their families, and communities is our top priority, and we continue to take all precautions to protect them,” the plant said in a statement released on Thursday.

The plant says they are limiting operations in order to do deep cleaning following these cases and information.  

The company has been working closely with local health officials and has completed COVID-19 testing plant team members and contractors. Tyson says they will share test results with health and government officials, team members, and other stakeholders once complete data is available as part of our efforts to help communities where we operate better understand the coronavirus and the protective measures that can be taken to help prevent its spread. 

When operations resume, facility leaders say they will make testing and daily clinical symptom screenings available to all employees.

They also say these programs are coming on top of other protective measures put in place in accordance with CDC and OSHA guidelines.

Preventative measures Tyson says they have put in place include:

  • Wellness health screening of all team members each time they arrive at the facility, checking for symptoms such as coughing or shortness of breath in addition to continuing use of the infrared thermometers to check temperature. 
  • The supply of protective facial coverings to every team member and requiring they are worn.  
  • The use of face shields for team members where workstation barriers cannot physically be implemented. 
  • Additional dedicated social distance monitors stationed throughout the facility during all shifts to help ensure team members adhere to safety protocols and social distancing requirements. 
  • Increased short-term disability coverage to 90% of normal pay until June 30 to encourage team members to stay home when they are sick 
  • Doubled our “thank you” bonus for frontline workers to $120 million. Team members who cannot come to work because of illness or childcare issues related to COVID-19 will continue to qualify.  

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