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Tyson Foods to limit operations at North Carolina plant after COVID-19 outbreak

In a statement, Tyson said plant operations will be "temporarily limited" due to deep cleaning and employees missing work while in quarantine.
A Tyson Fresh Meats plant is seen Monday, April 27, 2020, in Emporia, Kan. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)

WILKESBORO, N.C. — Tyson Foods announced that it will temporarily limit operations at its plant in Wilkesboro, North Carolina after a COVID-19 outbreak affected multiple employees. 

In a statement, Tyson said the processing plant will be limited for additional deep cleaning due to a combination of COVID-19 cases and employees missing their shifts for quarantines and other factors. 

Tyson says it has been working closely with local health officials and has completed COVID-19 testing employees and contractors. Those test results will be shared with health officials and employees of the Wilkesboro plant. The company pledged to give employees access to additional testing, symptom screenings, nurses and education when the factory resumes operation. These programs are in addition to a host of protective measures Tyson has put in place that meet or exceed CDC and OSHA guidance for preventing COVID-19.

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Tyson has put in place enhanced safety precautions and installed protective social distancing measures throughout our plants, including in the Wilkesboro facility, and taken steps to support our team members at this time, including:

  • 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.