May 6, 2020

National Guard to test hamburger plant employees


The Wisconsin National Guard will test all employees at the Cargill hamburger processing plant in Milwaukee.Continuing Coverage: Coronavirus in WisconsinMayor Tom Barrett made the announcement Wednesday afternoon.The Menomonee Valley plant has been temporarily closed because of a coronavirus outbreak.There are at least six confirmed cases so far.Cargill said it has 238 employees at the Milwaukee facility.Outbreaks at several meat processing plants across the state and around the country have led to fears of a supply shortage.Some farmers say they aren’t able to sell their cattle to suppliers.That’s also led to stores limiting the number of meat items shoppers can buy at grocery stores.”I think that meat has become such a part of our culture. We have it at many meals. I think it’s going to add to people’s stress and anxiety if there’s a sense that, generally speaking, not a lot of meat available,” shopper Brian Till said Wednesday.President Donald Trump signed an executive order last month ordering processing plants remain open amid the coronavirus pandemic.Cargill said they “hope to resume operations as soon as possible. Employees will continue to be paid during their time off.”Employees who feel sick or have been in contact with anyone with COVID-19 in the last 14 days should stay home from work.Pizza, dressing and sauce manufacturer Richelieu Foods said late Wednesday afternoon that the National Guard would also test 420 employees at its Beaver Dam facility.“The health and safety of our employees, their families, and our customers has always been our top priority,” said Richelieu Chief Executive Officer Ric Alvarez. “We are incredibly grateful to our dedicated employees who are working safely to provide essential food for our nation. Throughout this difficult time, we have made decisions to protect our employees and reduce their risk of infection in accordance with CDC guidelines and with guidance from the Dodge County Health Department. We believe that testing supported by the Wisconsin National Guard is an important next step to quickly identify any unknown cases, treat those employees, and isolate them to prevent further spread.”Sign up for coronavirus email alerts from WISNGet breaking news alerts with the WISN 12 app.Follow us: Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | YouTube

The Wisconsin National Guard will test all employees at the Cargill hamburger processing plant in Milwaukee.

Continuing Coverage: Coronavirus in Wisconsin

Mayor Tom Barrett made the announcement Wednesday afternoon.

The Menomonee Valley plant has been temporarily closed because of a coronavirus outbreak.

There are at least six confirmed cases so far.

Cargill said it has 238 employees at the Milwaukee facility.

Outbreaks at several meat processing plants across the state and around the country have led to fears of a supply shortage.

Some farmers say they aren’t able to sell their cattle to suppliers.

That’s also led to stores limiting the number of meat items shoppers can buy at grocery stores.

“I think that meat has become such a part of our culture. We have it at many meals. I think it’s going to add to people’s stress and anxiety if there’s a sense that, generally speaking, not a lot of meat available,” shopper Brian Till said Wednesday.

President Donald Trump signed an executive order last month ordering processing plants remain open amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Cargill said they “hope to resume operations as soon as possible. Employees will continue to be paid during their time off.”

Employees who feel sick or have been in contact with anyone with COVID-19 in the last 14 days should stay home from work.

Pizza, dressing and sauce manufacturer Richelieu Foods said late Wednesday afternoon that the National Guard would also test 420 employees at its Beaver Dam facility.

“The health and safety of our employees, their families, and our customers has always been our top priority,” said Richelieu Chief Executive Officer Ric Alvarez. “We are incredibly grateful to our dedicated employees who are working safely to provide essential food for our nation. Throughout this difficult time, we have made decisions to protect our employees and reduce their risk of infection in accordance with CDC guidelines and with guidance from the Dodge County Health Department. We believe that testing supported by the Wisconsin National Guard is an important next step to quickly identify any unknown cases, treat those employees, and isolate them to prevent further spread.”

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