Company is Committed to Disclosing its Test Results to Help Keep Team Members and the Community Safe
SPRINGDALE, Ark. – May 11, 2020 – Tyson Foods, Inc. (NYSE: TSN) announced today that it has completed facility-wide testing for COVID-19 at its Portland, Maine poultry plant, where limited production resumed last week. Of the 403 team members and contractors who work at the facility, 51 tested positive, including 31 individuals who 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.
The Portland 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 on-site 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 clinically significant risk factors, CDC guidance and access to testing.
As it is doing in Portland, 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.
“Our top priority is the health and safety of our team members, and we are working with local health departments to manage the impact of this pandemic on our team members, their families and our communities,” 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.”
Testing at the Portland facility took place from May 2 - 4 while the plant was temporarily closed for deep cleaning and sanitization. The plant, which resumed limited production on May 7, is located in Cumberland County, where 714 confirmed COVID-19 cases have been reported as of May 11.
Team members at Tyson’s Portland facility will have access to daily clinical symptom screenings, nurse practitioners and enhanced education and support for personal health goals or concerns. 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.
“As the largest food company in the United States, we not only bear a responsibility to lead, we embrace it,” Chad Martin, Group President, Poultry for Tyson Foods said. “We will continue to evolve and adapt as we lock arms across our company and the country to help protect our communities and maintain a healthy and stable food supply for tens of millions of Americans.”
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.
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