After facing several questions by Iowa news reporters on Wednesday, state health officials on Thursday confirmed an outbreak of COVID-19 among workers at the Storm Lake Tyson meat packing plant.
Iowa Department of Public Health Deputy Director Sarah Reisetter made the announcement at the start of the governor’s daily news conference:
OC………..”so far” :13
That’s around 22 percent of the plant’s work force and comes 24 hours after state officials said they were not able to link a dramatic increase of over 400 new coronavirus cases in the Storm Lake area to either of the city’s meat plants.
Just 24 hours earlier Governor Kim Reynolds said no business in Buena Vista County had a confirmed outbreak, where 10 percent of the workforce was either out sick or tested positive for coronavirus.
OC……..are testing positive. ;10
Reisetter says state law does not require businesses to report outbreaks to her agency, but information may be publicly released if necessary to protect the health of citizens:
Reisetter says the state doesn’t have immediate access to testing information when 10 percent of a workforce at a facility like a packing plant tests positive for the virus:
OC……..of the public. :20
Reisetter says while there’s great interest in having her agency announce when there are outbreaks, she says the most important thing for Iowans to know is how to take care of their own health during the pandemic.
She repeated the same examples we have heard for two months now of wearing a face mask when social distancing isn’t possible, covering coughs and washing hands.
Radio Iowa contributed to this story, photo courtesy KMEG