WILKESBORO, NC (WSPA) – Tyson said about 25 percent of its workers, or 570 people, at a North Carolina plant have contracted the coronavirus.
The scale of the plant’s outbreak has caused some concern in the community.
One worker has undergone several tests at Tyson Chicken and has brought an extra layer of protection when he returns to his job.
His biggest concerns are the hundreds of people who have tested positive, but are asymptomatic.
“That’s more scary when you’re asymptomatic because you’re not feeling sick,” the worker said. “You’re running around here exposing yourself to other people.”
The company said it has set up health screenings, provided mask and face shields and separated workers with physical barriers along the production line.
Twice in the last two weeks the company has shut down portions of the plants for deep cleanings.
Tyson said it has done widespread testing of more than 2,200 employees in an effort to help the community better understand the coronavirus and the protective measures that can be taken to prevent its spread.
But residents in the area remain concerned about the impact on Wilkesboro, N.C.
“I understand that they are trying to protect the employees and everything, but when the numbers get that high I think they should have shut down for a week or two,” Carman Johnson said.
“I think it’s ridiculous if you want to know the truth about it,” Robert Dula said. “I don’t know why the plant is even running.”
According to Tyson, the workers who test positive for the virus will receive paid leave.
The company also said the sick workers can only return to the job when they have met a set of criteria established by the CDC and Tyson.