NC Poultry Plant Reports 570 COVID-19 Cases

May 21, 2020

WILKESBORO — Meat producer Tyson Foods is reporting 570 cases of COVID-19 at a poultry processing complex in North Carolina.

Poultry workers cut and trim chicken in an undated photo.
Credit U.S. Government Accountability Office / Wikimedia Commons

Tyson said in a news release that it tested more than 2,000 staff members and contractors who work at its facility in Wilkesboro. Tyson said that most of the 570 didn't show symptoms.

Tyson said it's increasing testing and health care options at 30 of its facilities. Tyson said it's also providing face masks, putting physical barriers between work stations and implementing social distancing practices.

“We are working closely with local health departments to protect our team members and their families, and to help manage the spread of the virus in our communities,” Tom Brower, a Tyson health and safety executive, said in a statement.

Tyson had temporarily closed parts of the North Carolina complex that houses multiple plants for deep cleaning, including a multi-day closure announced last week.

Wilkes County health officials said that as of Thursday the area had about 450 COVID-19 cases, including two deaths and 20 current hospitalizations.

Nearby Forsyth County has said that dozens of cases there were linked to the Tyson facility.

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