Tyson Wilkes Plant Ramping Back Up After Temporary Closure

Tyson Wilkes Plant Ramping Back Up After Temporary Closure

6:21pm May 21, 2020
Wilkesboro, North Carolina. KERI BROWN/WFDD

As hundreds of workers tested positive for COVID-19 at the Tyson plant in Wilkes County, the company says it plans to ramp up operations again this week. 

More than 2,200 workers were recently tested for the coronavirus at Tyson’s Wilkesboro plant. 570 employees tested positive. Ken Noland is the town manager of Wilkesboro. He says local officials are keeping a close eye on the situation.

“We’ve got to protect our community as a whole,” says Noland. “We are specifically trying to work with Tyson to protect their team members, and it is frustrating. It’s frustrating for us, it’s frustrating for Tyson.”

Tyson says a majority of the positive cases didn’t show any symptoms.

The company says several new safety measures have been put in place at the Wilkesboro site. 

That includes barriers for social distancing in work stations and break rooms, and symptom screenings before each shift. Tyson is also providing paid sick leave to workers who test positive for the virus.

“We are working closely with local health departments to protect our team members and their families, and to help manage the spread of the virus in our communities,” said Tom Brower, senior vice president of health and safety for Tyson Foods in a press release. “We are using the most up-to-date data and resources to support our team members, and we are committed to ensuring they feel safe and secure when they come to work.”

The company says production has begun to ramp up at the facility. The company has paused operations twice in recent days for more deep cleaning and worker absences.

For the most up-to-date information on coronavirus in North Carolina, visit our Live Updates blog here. WFDD wants to hear your stories — connect with us and let us know what you’re experiencing.

*Follow WFDD’s Keri Brown on Twitter @kerib_news

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