On May 12-13, Seaboard Foods conducted COVID-19 testing for our Guymon processing plant employees as part of our commitment to keeping our employees safe and to answering the call from employees and health experts for broader testing.
Of the more than 1,600 processing plant employees without symptoms tested, 350 tested positive for COVID-19. As of May 20, 440 employees have active cases of COVID-19 and this includes the 350 confirmed cases from this past week’s mass testing. 201 plant employees have recovered from COVID19 and have returned to work. All employees who test positive are asked to self-isolate following CDC guidelines and cannot report to work until they recover.
We knew from watching testing efforts in other areas of the country that when more tests are conducted, more positive test results come in. We were prepared for that, and the test results reinforce that broad employee testing is the right thing to do to help keep our employees safe and for our employees to understand their COVID-19 status and that of their peers. Only with this data, can we understand the full scope of the situation and use a data-driven and scientific approach to continuously improve.
To that end, we are working closely with the Oklahoma State Department of Health and the Texas County Health Department and will be examining the results with the help of experts to determine what additional actions can be taken to protect workers’ health while we continue to produce food for tables across the country.
As always, we encourage our employees and everyone in the community to follow the CDC guidelines for protection and prevention and to stay home if they feel ill, self-isolate, seek medical guidance and get tested. We remind our employees and everyone that it’s important that when at work and away from work to follow the CDC guidelines and wear a mask in public, practice social distancing, wash your hands frequently, and clean and disinfect touched surfaces and objects often.
We remain committed to keeping you informed and will continue to provide updates as we identify solutions based on the data to incorporate in our operations. Our hope is that the information from our broad testing program will help bring peace of mind to our employees and for everyone to understand how our community has been affected by the global pandemic and can help guide our company’s and community’s ongoing response to COVID-19.