Nearly 100 workers infected with COVID-19 at Tyson plant

Coronavirus

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WZTV/CNN) — 90 people at the Tyson food Plant in Goodlettsville, Tennessee have tested positive for the COVID-19. The Metro Health Department says 60 of them are from Davidson County.

On Friday, FOX 17 went to the plant hoping to find out what happened that led to 90 people being infected. We were referred to corporate. The company declined an interview but did send a generic video statement.

“This is an ever-changing situation and we are committed to exploring every way possible for keeping our team members safe,” said Tyson Senior Vice-President of U.S. Human Resources Hector Gonzales.

The Goodlettsville plant employs about 1,600 people.

We spoke with a former employee who spent nearly two decades at that plant and felt that safety generally came second.

“Production is No. 1. Production is first, last, and foremost is what was drilled into our heads the whole time I was there,” the employee said.

He believes current workers are afraid to speak out for fear of losing their jobs.

Tyson says it has taken measures to prevent the spread by implementing social distancing on the production floor, installing workstation dividers in breakrooms and on the floor, as well as getting tents for more space during break time, among other methods.

“We’ve worked diligently to protect our team members,” Gonzales continued in the video statement.

The Metro Public Health Department is working with the Tyson plant on safety measures as well as epidemiologically tracking the COVID-19-positive Davidson County employees to stop the cluster spread.

“You know, coworkers who may have been in close contact at any time with an ill employee, they may not have symptoms. But, because they’re in close contact, they’re going to be isolated for 14 days,” says Metro Health Department Director of Communications Brian Todd.

He says isolation is the single best way to stop and prevent these cluster spreads.

Tyson also says production areas are sanitized daily and they have stepped up deep cleaning services at their facilities.

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