SPRINGDALE, Ark. – Tyson Foods, Inc. (NYSE: TSN) and Elkhorn Logan Valley Public Health Department (ELVPHD) today announced the results of facility-wide testing for COVID-19 at Tyson’s Madison, Nebraska pork plant, where limited production has resumed following a temporary halt for deep cleaning and sanitization.
Of the 1,467 team members and contractors who work at the facility, 212 tested positive. The total comprises 112 people identified through mass testing and 100 individuals identified through local health care providers. Of those tested during the mass testing event, 74 individuals did not show any symptoms and otherwise would not have been identified. Team members who test positive receive paid leave and may return to work only when they have met the criteria established by both the CDC and Tyson. Most of the individuals identified by local health care providers are considered to be recovered at this time.
“Our top priority is the health and safety of our team members, and we appreciate the collaboration and support of Elkhorn Logan Valley Public Health Department as we provided testing and took steps to complement our existing prevention efforts,” said Tom Brower, Senior Vice President of Health and Safety for Tyson Foods. “As we learn more about this virus, we continue to do everything we can to protect our team members and ensure they feel safe and secure when they come to work. We’re proud of our Tyson team members and are supporting them with the most up-to-date information and resources to take care of their health.”
“Elkhorn Logan Valley Public Health Department would like to applaud Tyson on the early identification and containment of positive COVID-19 cases at its Madison plant,” said Gina Uhing, Health Director, ELVPHD. “Tyson’s careful attention and adherence to internal prevention policies and procedures within the plant, as well as its aggressive testing and containment activities, played a significant role in the low overall infection rate among its team members.”
As it is doing in Madison, Tyson will disclose verified test results at other plants to health and government officials, team members and stakeholders as they become available as part of its efforts to help affected communities where it operates better understand the coronavirus and the protective measures that can be taken to help prevent its spread.
Mass testing at the Madison facility took place from May 1 to May 4 while the plant was temporarily idled for deep cleaning and sanitization and to allow time for the testing results to be received.
Team members at Tyson’s Madison facility will have access to daily clinical symptom screenings, nurse practitioners and enhanced education. These programs are in addition to a host of protective steps Tyson has put in place that meet or exceed CDC and OSHA guidance for preventing COVID-19. These include temperature checks for all team members before every shift, providing mandatory protective face masks to all team members, as well as a range of social distancing measures including physical barriers between workstations and in break rooms.
Tyson has increased short-term disability coverage to 90% of normal pay until June 30 to encourage team members to stay home when they are sick. The company also has doubled its “thank you” bonus for its frontline workers. Team members who cannot come to work because of illness or childcare issues related to COVID-19 will continue to qualify.
“Tyson is the largest food company in the United States, and we are embracing our responsibility to lead during this unprecedented time,” said Steve Stouffer, Group President, Tyson Fresh Meats. “We will continue to ensure that we are at the forefront of the industry when it comes to safety, exploring new ways to keep our team members healthy and protect our communities as we work to keep food on America’s tables.”
About Tyson Foods
Tyson Foods, Inc. is one of the world’s largest food companies and a recognized leader in protein. Founded in 1935 by John W. Tyson and grown under three generations of family leadership, the company has a broad portfolio of products and brands like Tyson®, Jimmy Dean®, Hillshire Farm®, Ball Park®, Wright®, Aidells®, ibp® and State Fair®. Tyson Foods innovates continually to make protein more sustainable, tailor food for everywhere it’s available and raise the world’s expectations for how much good food can do. Headquartered in Springdale, Arkansas, the company has 141,000 team members. Through its Core Values, Tyson Foods strives to operate with integrity, create value for its shareholders, customers, communities and team members and serve as a steward of the animals, land and environment entrusted to it. Visit TYSONFOODS.COM.