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1 out of 5 Rock Island Co. COVID-19 Cases from Tyson Outbreak

Two people who work at the Tyson plant in Joslin have died from COVID-19.

Michelle O'Neill reports they are among 92 employees who've tested positive for the infection.

Credit Michelle O'Neill / WVIK News
Nita Ludwig, Rock Island County Health Dept. Administrator (file)

Nita Ludwig, Administrator of the Rock Island County Health Department, says usually, the Illinois Department of Public Health does not reveal any information about where patients work.

But then she confirmed two Tyson employees have died from COVID-19, and 92 cases have been identified at the Joslin, IL meat-packing plant.

Credit https://www.tysonfoods.com/news/media-resources/coronavirus / Tyson
Work station dividers at an unidentified Tyson plant

Ludwig says the health department has been working with managers at the Tyson Foods plant to implement social distancing, slower production, and other measures to prevent the infection from spreading. 

The number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in Rock Island County totals 426, and more than 21% of those patients are Tyson employees.

Credit https://www.tysonfoods.com/news/media-resources/coronavirus / Tyson

Two weeks ago, two deaths were among dozens of infected workers at the Tyson plant in Columbus Junction, in Louisa County.

Tyson Food recently suspended production at its Waterloo pork processing plant.

At least 180 confirmed infections originated at that plant. 

Across the US, at least 13 meat-packing plants have suspended operations in recent weeks, affecting over 25% of the nation's pork processing capacity.

Pig farmers have been euthanizing hundreds of animals that can't be processed, raising fears of a meat shortage.

But now, President Trump has ordered plants to remain open. 

Officially, Michelle's title for 28 years was WVIK News Editor. She did everything there is to do in the newsroom and whatever was needed around the radio station. She also served as Acting News Director from September 2023 - January 2024.
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