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Seaboard Foods in Guymon confirms 116 COVID-19 cases


Seaboard Foods in Guymon confirmed 116 workers at a meat processing plant are infected with COVID-19. The company says it is continuing to ensure the facility is safe, while employees sat they are working in crowded conditions amid unenforced screening and improper cleaning.

"Our message to employees continues to be if you don't feel well please stay home, contact your healthcare provider and get tested. We believe this is the best way to protect our workers and our community.

"To that end, we continually reinforce the importance of self-isolation and testing through the local health departments, and we have actively encouraged our employees to get tested if they are feeling ill.

"Additionally, if anyone shows symptoms or a fever at our plant, they are asked to go home,"the company said in a statement.

Last week, President Donald Trump ordered beef, pork and poultry plants to remain open under the Defense Production Act.

Seaboard Foods makes more than four million pounds of pork products per day and employs about 2,700 workers in the panhandle community.

"Seaboard Foods operations are currently open and operating at full capacity. Recognizing the important role we have as a food company, we have plans in place to protect our employees and keep our farms and plants up and running as our nation and communities face the challenges created by COVID-19.

"The U.S. Government has identified the food supply as critical to the nation's infrastructure and has communicated the food industry has a special responsibility to continue to produce food to help feed our nation. Seaboard Foods embraces and accepts this great responsibility.

"We've always taken great pride in our clean and well-run facilities and extensive biosecurity protocols, and we know this is important now more than ever. To that end, we are closely monitoring the COVID-19 situation in the communities where we live and work. We've heightened our sanitation protocols, increased screening practices, implemented travel and visitor restrictions, and created COVID specific health and employment benefits for the well-being of our employees.

"Our hearts ache for everyone affected by COVID-19, but we are grateful for and commend the health care professionals, first responders and everyone around the world who is working diligently to help keep everyone safe and healthy, and all those joining us in ensuring food is on the table throughout our country and the world.

"Seaboard Foods is committed to doing its part as our communities and country navigate this rapidly changing and challenging situation," the company said.

Texas County officials have confirmed 35 more positive COVID-19 tests on Monday, May 4.  The new positive results are for 24 Guymon residents, seven Hooker residents, two Texhoma residents, one Tyrone resident, and one Goodwell resident. Today Guymon surpassed Edmond’s 155 cases, and now ranks fifth in the state with 168 cases behind Oklahoma City’s 646, Tulsa’s 428, Bartlesville’s 231, and Norman’s 215.

An investigation into any positive result is standard and all persons in close contact with the person will be notified by the Oklahoma State Department of Health and advised of quarantine and testing procedure. No other details in these cases were released.

COVID-19 case counts in each Texas County town with positives include:

Guymon 168

Hooker 45

Tyrone  9

Optima   3

Goodwell  3

Texhoma   6

Hardesty   1

Unspecified  1

Of all these cases, the Oklahoma State Department of Health is reporting 74 recovered in Texas County.

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