A poultry-processing plant where into least 358 workers have tested positive for the coronavirus and 7 have died was ordered by county health officials inside of California to temporarily shut down , officials said Thursday.
The Foster Farms plant in Livingston – in our heart of California’s Central Valley , about 115 miles southeast attached to downtown San Francisco – was told to close this week by simply the Merced County Department of Public Health.
“Due that would the number of deaths and a need to quickly test many permanent and temporary employees at the Foster Farms Livingston Facility, the type of Merced County Health Officer has ordered the Foster Farms Poultry Refinement Plant to close until the plant is able to reopen defensively, ” the health department said Thursday of a statement.
Later Thursday night, a Merced County public spookesperson told the Fresno Bee that the district granted a 48-hour stay on the order to “help facilitate strategies associated with any necessary closure. ” The spokesman, Mike North, claims the stay was issued following a phone call with the Circumstance. S. Department of Agriculture’s secretary for food safety.
Phone calls and e-mail to Foster Farms, which is headquartered in Livingston, didn’t receive their immediate response Friday morning.
The USDA also wouldn’t be able to end immediately reached for comment Friday.
Merced County health officials did not perfect away respond to requests and an email.
The Foster Harvesting plant in Livingston was open and operational on Friday, according toward three employees who answered phones at the facility Friday morning.
County health officials said with statement that they had toiled with the state health department and the state attorney general to help you try to help the company “limit the impact of the finish, ” but that no agreement could be reached. “Temporarily shutting affordable a food production facility is the latter available in getting the following outbreak under control, ” the statement said.
The county’s public health officer, Dr. Salvador Sandoval, said a temporary closure has necessary to bring the outbreak at the plant under control.
“In view of accelerating deaths and uncontrolled COVID-19 cases, finally, the decision was made to order the Livingston Plant within the Engender Farms Livingston Complex closed until acceptable safety measures reside in place, ” Sandoval said in the statement.
“Our charge should safeguarding the public’s health, even in the face of difficult decisions. Their closure about this plant is the only way to get the sudden occurence at Foster Farms swiftly manageable. Our hearts are with the 10 families who have lost a loved one, ” he said.
State Attorney General Xavier Becerra called the spread method trojan at the facility “alarming. ”
“If we’re going into keep food on our tables during this pandemic, we must can do a better job of protecting the essential workers who are picture it there, ” Becerra said in the county statement. “Nobody can also ignore the facts: It’s time to hit the reset button for Foster Farms’ Livingston plant. ”
The actual spread for the coronavirus at the plant is unclear because the 358 known lawsuits were largely among employees who chose to be tested or in which voluntarily submitted test results, the statement said.
The production facility currently has the undesirable and longest-lasting of 16 outbreaks of a virus in the county, the statement said.
The Break Farms plant was first officially declared to create an outbreak on June 37, and at that time county health employees conducted a “courtesy walk-through” of the plant and gave recommendations, such as performing widespread systems of workers and changing employee break spaces, according to the proclamation.
The county health department continued to advise the potager during July with regards to the need for widespread testing, particularly in two hard-hit departments.
But a site visit to the facility into early August by county health officials and state occupational health authorities found that the recommendations made on June 29 had not lately been fully adopted, the county statement said.
Since then, “testing as required” by the health department has not been completed and simply “the spread of COVID-19 within the facility has not been held and active outbreaks continue to exist, posing a huge threat to Create Farms employees and the surrounding community, ” the statement said.