Tyson Foods, Inc. announces the results of facility-wide testing for COVID-19 at its Temperanceville, Virginia poultry facility.
Of the 1,282 team members and contractors who work at the facility and were tested, 257 tested positive, the majority of whom did not show any symptoms and otherwise would not have been identified. The total comprises 79 individuals who were tested by the Department of Health or when seeking care through their own health care providers and an additional 178 individuals who were tested onsite from May 5 to May 7. 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.
The Temperanceville facility is among an initial group of more than 30 production facilities in the United States where Tyson is rolling out advanced testing capabilities and enhanced care options onsite to team members in partnership with MATRIX MEDICAL, a leading medical clinical services company, and other partners. The company is prioritizing communities with a higher prevalence of COVID-19 and will assess additional needs based on significant risk factors and access to testing.
As it is doing at the Temperanceville facility, Tyson will disclose test results at other plants to health and government officials, team members and stakeholders 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.
“At Tyson, our team members come first, and we are focused on ensuring they feel safe and secure when they come to work,” said Tom Brower, Senior Vice President of Health and Safety for Tyson Foods. “We are working closely with local health departments and using the latest information and resources to protect our team members, their families and our communities.”
Team members at Tyson’s Temperanceville facility have access to daily clinical screenings, nurse practitioners and enhanced education. AXIOM MEDICAL, a health care case management provider, will also track the symptoms of team members who test positive and provide additional care.
Tyson has also put in place a host of protective steps that meet or exceed CDC and OSHA guidance for preventing COVID-19. These include symptom screenings 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.
“Our team members do critical work helping to feed the nation, and their health and safety is always our first concern,” said Sidney Newnam, Complex Manager for Tyson in Temperanceville. “Releasing our testing results is another step we are taking to better protect our team members and our wider Temperanceville community.”
Tyson Foods 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.
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