WALLULA, WA - Following a Covid-19 outbreak at Tyson Fresh Meats, the company shut it's doors for nearly 2 weeks to allow for testing of about 1,400 employees. Today the meat factory opened back up.
As business resumes at the Tyson plant, right now at least 250 employees have tested positive for COVID-19 and health officials are confirming 3 deaths from the plant.
Following new CDC guidelines employees who tested positive for the Coronavirus are now able to return to work.
Tyson told NBC Right Now that some workers who tested positive are back to work, and all who tested positive will visit an on-site nurse before returning to work or being sent home.
They also say there are following CDC and OSHA guidelines.
Those federal guidelines state that a worker who tested positive can return to the production line or anywhere on-site if they are asymptomatic, and it’s been more than 10 days since they tested positive for the virus.
Tyson says if workers who tested positive don’t feel well they are being sent home.
Employees tell me despite nurses screening workers, and efforts to separate workers in the production line with plastic barriers there is no real social distancing at the facility.
There is no room to allow for 6 feet of distance they say and employees remain in very close quarters of each other.
A worker who wanted to remain anonymous says having those workers who tested positive in the plant makes them feel unsafe. No one was informed they would be around people with the virus.
Communication between Tyson and it's employees is also an issue. Today about 10 people showed up ready to work and were sent home because they had not been tested for COVID-19.
The employees tell us Tyson never reached out to them before they returned to work. They also say they were sent home with no date of when they would be tested.
Tyson reps say they tried to call workers but could not get a hold of those employees, they also say health officials will be in touch about testing dates.
Despite recent changes at the meat factory employees feel the company failed to act quickly and failed to handle this the right way, when the outbreak was in its early stages. Some also tell us they are considering legal action against the meat giant.