Tyson Foods, Portland, has just reported a total of thirty-seven confirmed cases of the COVID-19. This includes a report received this afternoon at 1:00 pm by Dr. Shah, Director of the MaineCDC – a report received about an hour before the 2:00 pm daily briefing began. Tyson Foods, a frozen food manufacturer, has decided to “idle” the facility for a ‘few more days’ during this pandemic according to Dr. Shah.
At the outset of the briefing, Dr. Shah said that there have been four (4) additional deaths since yesterday – for 61 deaths. The total number of confirmed cases in Maine is now up to 1,226, an increase of 21 since yesterday’s report. As he has said in the past, when the MaineCDC or any public health organization goes out looking for cases, they will be found. That is precisely what is happening with these daily increases.
A report from Dr. Shah on the outbreaks in long-term-facilities indicated that Falmouth-by-the-Sea now has a total of forty-five (45) cases of COVID-19. Twenty-nine (29) of those confirmed cases are residents and sixteen (16) are staff members. Two deaths are now included, but it was not said whether they were residents or staff members of Falmouth by the Sea, Falmouth Foreside.
As a follow-up to a previous announcement, Dr. Shah reported that Maine has received its first of a series of cotton swabs by FEMA – 4,000 cotton swabs essential for testing purposes.
The City of Portland’s leadership has yet to release a statement on the situation at Tyson Foods, Portland. How is the city reaching out to this community of workers to assist them as they negotiate this pandemic? How is the city reaching out to the large immigration community employed there to assist them with language barriers that might exist as well as other issues faced by the population employed there. Tyson has about 400 employees.
Note: On Tuesday, May 5, evening, MBC News has reported an outbreak of the COVID-19 at Perry, Iowa at the Tyson Foods plant. There more than 700 employees have tested positive for the deadly virus. Tyson Food plants in Dakota City, Nebraska and Pesco, Washington are also reporting cases of the virus – all of which could cause a meat shortage nationwide – because of the slowing of production and closing plants.