SHERMAN, TEXAS – Tyson Foods Inc. said 326 employees at its case-ready beef and pork plant in Sherman, Texas, tested positive for COVID-19 of the 1,604 team members who work at the facility. Tyson said the total comprises 211 individuals who were tested by the Texas Division of Emergency Management with the National Guard onsite May 13 and 14. The additional 115 were by their own health care providers.
“We are proud of our team members and we continue to take protective measures to ensure that their health and safety is our first priority,” said Bill McKeeman, general manager at the Sherman facility. “Disclosing our testing results is an important step in protecting our team members and helping provide the wider Sherman community with the information it needs to control the spread of the virus.”
Tyson employees who test positive for COVID-19 receive paid leave and may return to work only when they have met the criteria established by both the Atlanta-based Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and Tyson Foods, the company said. Employees at the Sherman facility have access to daily clinical screenings, nurse practitioners and enhanced health and wellness education.
In response to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, Tyson increased short-term disability coverage to 90% of normal pay until June 30 to encourage workers to stay home when they are sick. The company also doubled its “thank you” bonus for frontline workers. Team members who cannot come to work because of illness or childcare issues related to COVID-19 will continue to qualify for the bonus, the company said.
“We’re committed to making sure our team members are safe, healthy and protected and we value the collaboration provided by the Texas Division of Emergency Management to complement our existing prevention efforts,” said Tom Brower, senior vice president of Health and Safety for Tyson Foods. “Our team members deserve to feel safe and secure when they come to work, and we are supporting them with the most up-to-date information and resources to take care of their health.”