Tyson Foods, Inc. Releases Results from Covid-19 Testing at Council Bluffs, Ia Plant
Company is Committed to Disclosing Test Results to Help Keep Team Members and the Community Safe
More than Half of Individuals Who Tested Positive Did Not Show Symptoms
SPRINGDALE, Ark. – June 2, 2020 – Tyson Foods, Inc. (NYSE:TSN) announced today the results of facility-wide testing for COVID-19 at its Council Bluffs, Iowa case-ready beef and pork facility.
Of the 1,483 team members who work at the facility and were tested, 224 tested positive, of whom 103 have been through their required absence and have now returned to work.
More than half of individuals who tested positive 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 145 who were tested onsite from May 14 to May 16. Team members who test positive receive paid leave during the quarantine period and may return to work only when they have met the criteria established by both the CDC and Tyson.
The Council Bluffs facility is among more than 40 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.
“Pottawattamie County is proud to collaborate with Tyson Foods to help manage this virus,” said Matt Wyant, Director of Planning and Development of Pottawattamie County Public Health. “Tyson’s preventive policies and procedures at the facility as well as its aggressive testing and containment will help further protect our community and the health of our residents.”
As it is doing at the Council Bluffs facility, Tyson will disclose test results at other plants where it is conducting facility-wide testing 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 proud that our decision to conduct large scale testing and disclose the results will provide our community with the latest information to help mitigate the virus and further protect our team members and their families.”
Team members at Tyson’s Council Bluffs facility have access to daily clinical screenings, nurse practitioners and enhanced education.
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 breakrooms.
“Our team members do critical work helping to feed the nation, and their health and safety is our top priority,” said Shane Kolle, Complex Manager for Tyson in Council Bluffs. “Releasing our testing results is another step we are taking to better protect our team members and our wider Council Bluffs and Omaha communities.”
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.
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.
LIZ CROSTON, 605-235-3657