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60 workers at Michigan meat plant test positive for COVID-19

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Posted at 8:50 AM, Apr 21, 2020
and last updated 2020-04-21 10:24:19-04

(WXYZ) — Dozens of workers at a Michigan meat plant have tested positive for coronavirus, according to our sister station Fox 17 in Grand Rapids.

Fox 17 reports that between April 1-17, the Allegan County Health Department got 21 messages from people concerned about the working conditions at the JBS Beef Plant. In all, 60 people who worked there tested positive for coronavirus.

“We understood those people's concerns,” Health Department Public Health Specialist Lindsay Maunz told Fox 17. “Once we started hearing more, we knew we had to contact JBS and go on-site to see what measures were being taken and how we can keep workers safe.”

“There’s been unfortunately one death connected to the JBS facility,” Maunz said during an interview with FOX 17.

JBS reportedly has 1,300 employees and the company said they have taken "extensive measures" to keep it clean and sanitized, according to Fox 17.

JBS released a statement to FOX 17, which read in part:

"The U.S. government has identified the food supply as a critical infrastructure industry and has stated we have a special responsibility to maintain normal work schedules on behalf of the nation. We take this responsibility seriously and are doing our best to safely provide food to the nation during a challenging time. We will endeavor to keep our facilities open, but we will not operate a facility if we do not believe it is safe or if absenteeism levels result in our inability to safely operate. The health and safety of our team members remains our number one priority."

***Click here for JBS' full statement***

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