Lincoln Premium Poultry announced 9 additional cases of COVID-19 over the past week. They last reported a total of six cases cases one week ago and as of today have also registered 26 negative cases among employees.
“We have been working tirelessly to obtain testing for any of our team members who either had a known direct contact or who show any symptoms” said Jessica Kolterman, Director of Corporate and External Affairs. “We have very much appreciated our relationship with Three Rivers Health and local medical facilities who have helped to test every team member who has wanted or needed a test.”
This brings the total number of confirmed cases at the company to fifteen. Lincoln Premium Poultry has provided the opportunity for at-risk individuals to self-isolate at home, with pay. Individuals who test positive as well as individuals with known direct contact with a person who has tested positive are also self-isolating at home with pay.
Lincoln Premium Poultry has implemented additional protection measures recommended by UNMC, including additional screening, strict mandatory use of masks, and additional deep cleaning. The company had previously limited visitors to the facility, stopped food service and installed dividers on tables, provided further space between workers, implemented nightly intense cleaning interventions, is taking the temperature of all entering their facilities and had provided masks to their workforce. They have also provided a $2/hour increase to all hourly workers, which began in March, and are providing chicken for their team members. This virus is not foodborne and cannot be transmitted through food or potable water.
“We recognize that these numbers can be considered significant by some, but we have been extremely aggressive in fighting for tests for our team members,” said Kolterman, “which is why we believe we have seen these positives. During the last group of mass testing in Fremont, 90% of those testing positive showed that their cases were from ‘close contacts previously lab-confirmed’. Because we have removed anyone that is positive from our facilities prior to their lab-positives, the data indicates most cases are from spread outside of our facility.”
Kolterman stated “We continue to emphasize the importance of social distancing at home as well as at work, the importance of mask use, hand washing, and other interventions. We will keep working hard to communicate with our team members on ways we can work together to protect each other and our communities.”
Lincoln Premium Poultry was founded in 2016 in Fremont, Nebraska and began operations on September 9, 2019.