Coronavirus outbreak causes Tyson Foods to close NC plant for cleaning


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Tyson Foods is briefly shuttering a Wilkesboro, North Carolina, plant experiencing a coronavirus outbreak as the company begins reopening some of its hard-hit plants in the West and Midwest.

Tyson is closing the fresh meat plant from Saturday through Monday for “deep cleaning and sanitizing,” a Tyson spokesperson told FOX Business. Tyson’s food service plant, also in Wilkesboro, is not affected, the spokesperson said.

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Wilkes County, home to the plants, has 194 COVID-19 cases, with a “majority” linked to the Tyson plant, according to a Friday press release.

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“The Wilkes County Health Department went onsite at Tyson to conduct 200 COVID-19 tests,” the county said. “They had 39 positive tests out of the 200 which is 19%.”

Wilkesboro, N.C., Oct. 19, 2019: Tyson Foods, Inc., a poultry and poultry products plant. (iStock)

The Tyson spokesperson said the company is not sharing the number of cases at the plant.

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“Since this is a fluid, ever-changing situation, we’re not sharing specific numbers,” the spokesperson said. “Team members who test positive will only return to work when they have met criteria outlined by the CDC. … The plant will resume operations Tuesday.”

Coronavirus has infected workers at 115 meat and poultry processing plants in 19 states, according to a recent Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report. More than 4,900 workers contracted the virus, and 20 have died.

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Many supermarkets throughout the nation are limiting the amount of fresh meat customers can purchase at one time amid fears of panic buying and stressed food supply chains.

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View more information: https://www.foxbusiness.com/markets/coronavirus-tyson-foods-wilkesboro-nc-outbreak

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