ALL NEWS

Bear River Health Department speaks out on COVID-19 outbreak in meat processing facility

Jun 5, 2020, 4:18 PM | Updated: 5:27 pm
27 Republican states filled federal lawsuits  against President Biden's vaccine mandate on private ...
27 Republican states filled federal lawsuits against President Biden's vaccine mandate on private companies. (Photo credit: Getty Images)
(Photo credit: Getty Images)

SALT LAKE CITY — An outbreak of COVID-19 at a meat packing plant in Cache County is responsible for a significant number of the record case count in Utah revealed Friday morning.

The Bear River Health District reported 198 new cases of COVID-19 on Friday, with most tied to the JBS Meat processing facility in Hyrum. 

District spokesman Joshua Greer says they recently started noticing an uptick in COVID-19 cases. 

“We had had pretty low numbers…and then last Wednesday we started with a caseload of 10, moved up to the 20s and the 30s and the 40s. As we started doing the investigations, we actually kept going back to a local meat packing plant,” Greer said.    

That’s when they decided to test all 1,300 employees at the meat processing facility.

“Seventy-five to 80 percent of [our COVID-19 cases] are probably linked to this mass testing event,” Greer said. 

However, they expect the COVID-19 case count to go even higher. 

“The numbers, unfortunately, are just starting to come in. So, we actually anticipate seeing higher numbers coming throughout the weekend,” Greer said. 

It’s unclear how the outbreak started and just how many people, including employees’s families and friends, have been exposed to the virus.  

When the Utah Department of Health revealed Friday’s COVID-19 case count, the 439 new cases represented the largest increase the state has reported since the pandemic began.

The Bear River Health District is conducting contact tracing with local, statewide, and federal investigation teams. The federal investigation team is made up of workers from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Greer says the company is working with them, but the district is also reminding employees to stay home if they are sick, wear a mask, and keep social distancing and washing their hands. 

Tom Hudachko with the Utah Department of Health is not surprised an outbreak happened at a work site.

“We’ve had localized outbreaks all throughout the state since the beginning of this [pandemic]. And what we’ve seen in the past several weeks is more and more of those outbreaks tend to be centered around workplaces,” Hudachko said.  

 

 

How To Prevent the Spread of COVID-19Coronavirus

COVID-19 coronavirus is transmitted from person to person. It is a virus that is similar to the common cold and the flu. So, to prevent it from spreading:

  • Wash hands frequently and thoroughly, with soap and water, for at least 20 seconds.
  • Don’t touch your face.
  • Keep children and those with compromised immune systems away from someone who is coughing or sneezing (in this instance, at least six feet)
  • If there is an outbreak near you, practice social distancing (stay at home, instead of going to the movies, sports events, or other activities.)
  • Get a flu shot.

Local resources

KSL Coronavirus Q&A

Utah’s Coronavirus Information

UtahState Board of Education

Utah Hospital Association

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

Utah Coronavirus Information Line – 1-800-456-7707

National Resources

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Commonly asked questions, World Health Organization

Cases in the United States

We want to hear from you.

Have a story idea or tip? Send it to the KSL NewsRadio team here.

Today’s Top Stories

All News

Sen. Todd Weiler, R-Woods Cross, talks about SB117, which he is sponsoring, during a Senate Judicia...
Devin Oldroyd

Two Republicans voted against bill banning transgender-related surgery, here’s why

The Utah Senate has approved a bill banning transgender-related surgery and puberty blockers for minors. A total of two Republicans voted against it.
1 day ago
Rabbi Avremi Zippel talks to the crowd during halftime of a Jazz-Portland Trail Blazers game at Viv...
Mark Jones

International Holocaust Remembrance Day: Area rabbi shares his thoughts

Rabbi Avremi Zippel joined Inside Sources Friday to discuss International Holocaust Remembrance Day.
1 day ago
A House panel is endorsing a new Utah law, H.B. 102, which extends resident college tuition rates t...
Devin Oldroyd

New Utah law could extend in-state tuition to refugees & asylum seekers

A House panel is endorsing a new Utah law, H.B. 102, which extends resident college tuition rates to refugees and political asylum seekers.
1 day ago
A traffic stop in Salt Lake City led to the arrest of a 21-year-old man who was in possession of il...
Mark Jones

Salt Lake City traffic stop leads to drug bust, illegal gun recovered

Salt Lake City police say a traffic stop Thursday resulted in a 21-year-old man being arrested for being in possession of illegal drugs and a firearm.
1 day ago
Video footage of a traffic stop that led to the deadly beating of Tyre Nichols shows "acts that def...
Travis Caldwell, Jay Croft, Eric Bradner and Alisha Ebrahimji, CNN

Memphis releases video showing police stop that led to Tyre Nichols’ death

Editor’s note: This article contains graphic descriptions of violence. (CNN) — The city of Memphis has released police body camera and surveillance video showing the January 7 traffic stop and violent police confrontation that led to the death of 29-year-old Tyre Nichols. During the initial encounter between Nichols and Memphis police, an officer can be seen […]
1 day ago
File**People walk past the entrance to a Bed Bath & Beyond retail store along Sixth Avenue in N...
Paul R. La Monica and Nathaniel Meyersohn, CNN

Bed Bath & Beyond says it can no longer pay its debts

The end could be near for struggling retailer Bed Bath & Beyond, as it warned in a regulatory filing Thursday that it received a notice of default from its lender, JPMorgan Chase.
1 day ago

Sponsored Articles

Banner with Cervical Cancer Awareness Realistic Ribbon...
Intermountain Health

Five Common Causes of Cervical Cancer – and What You Can Do to Lower Your Risk

January is National Cervical Cancer Awareness month and cancer experts at Intermountain Health are working to educate women about cervical cancer, the tests that can warn women about potential cancer, and the importance of vaccination.
Kid holding a cisco fish at winterfest...
Bear Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau

Get Ready for Fun at the 2023 Bear Lake Monster Winterfest

The Bear Lake Monster Winterfest is an annual weekend event jam-packed full of fun activities the whole family can enjoy. This year the event will be held from January 27-29 at the Utah Bear Lake State Park Marina and Sunrise Resort and Event Center in Garden City, Utah. 
happy friends with sparklers at christmas dinner...
Macey's

15 Easy Christmas Dinner Ideas

We’ve scoured the web for you and narrowed down a few of our favorite Christmas dinner ideas to make your planning easy. Choose from the dishes we’ve highlighted to plan your meal or start brainstorming your own meal plan a couple of weeks before to make sure you have time to shop and prepare.
Spicy Homemade Loaded Taters Tots...
Macey's

5 Game Day Snacks for the Whole Family (with recipes!)

Try these game day snacks to make watching football at home with your family feel like a special occasion. 
Happy joyful smiling casual satisfied woman learning and communicates in sign language online using...
Sorenson

The Best Tools for Deaf and Hard-of-Hearing Workplace Success

Here are some of the best resources to make your workplace work better for Deaf and hard-of-hearing employees.
Team supporters celebrating at a tailgate party...
Macey's

8 Delicious Tailgate Foods That Require Zero Prep Work

In a hurry? These 8 tailgate foods take zero prep work, so you can fuel up and get back to what matters most: getting hyped for your favorite
Bear River Health Department speaks out on COVID-19 outbreak in meat processing facility