COVID-19 cases on the rise in Virginia poultry processing plants

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Posted at 2:43 PM, Apr 27, 2020
and last updated 2020-04-27 15:05:33-04

Virginia, Maryland and Delaware are working together to address the rising number of coronavirus cases among workers in meat processing plants.

Gov. Northam said Monday that Virginia has 10 poultry processing facilities in the state. He said last week data showed rising numbers of cases among workers in these plants, especially in Accomack County.

3,000 people work in two plants on the Eastern Shore and many of the workers do not speak English as their first language and their housing situations make isolation difficult, Northam said.

Governors of these states are asking the federal government for assistance to deal with the rapidly evolving situation.

Northam’s team worked over the weekend with partners in these other states and the CDC. The CDC committed to deploy teams on the ground in all three states and in Virginia starting Monday, Northam said.

CDC teams will work with local health departments and the VDH to help with wider scale testing to figure out the scope of the problem.

Northam said the CDC has also released new guidance for meat processing facilities.

Smaller meat processing facilities in the Shenandoah Valley are being focused on as well, according to Gov. Northam.

He added that screening and other measures will be put in place to help keep workers in these facilities healthy.

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