Nine Lincoln Premium Poultry workers test positive for COVID-19

Photo courtesy: MGN
Photo courtesy: MGN(KKTV)
Published: Apr. 28, 2020 at 5:42 AM CDT
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A Costco chicken processing plant in eastern Nebraska said more workers have tested positive for the coronavirus.

Lincoln Premium Poultry in Fremont announced Monday that nine more workers have contracted the virus, bringing the plant's total to 16.

Spokeswoman Jessica Kolterman said the Three Rivers Health Department and local medical facilities have helped make tests available to every worker who wants one. She says the company is offering paid time off for at-risk workers, a two-dollar an hour wage increase, added temperature screening and limited visitors to the facility.

“We recognize that these numbers can be considered significant by some, but we have been extremely aggressive in fighting for tests for our team members,” Kolterman said. “(This) is why we believe we have seen these positives. During the last group of mass testing in Fremont, 90% of those testing positive showed that their cases were from ‘close contacts previously lab-confirmed’. Because we have removed anyone that is positive from our facilities prior to their lab-positives, the data indicates most cases are from spread outside of our facility.”

Packing plants in Nebraska have been hit hard with virus outbreaks. Hundreds of workers at Grand Island's JBS beef plant have fallen ill, more than 50 Tyson workers in Madison have tested positive and nearly 50 have tested positive at the Smithfield plant in Crete.