Coronavirus: Officials monitoring Wisconsin, Minnesota COVID-19 outbreaks at Seneca Foods plants

Coronavirus: Officials monitoring Wisconsin, Minnesota COVID-19 outbreaks at Seneca Foods plants
This illustration provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in January 2020 shows the 2019 Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV). (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention via AP)

A Wisconsin outbreak of the novel coronavirus has been linked to a Cumberland food processing plant after nearly half of employees at a Seneca Foods facility tested positive for COVID-19.

Meanwhile, the Minnesota Department of Health has confirmed 33 cases at the Seneca Foods packing facility in Glencoe along with another 12 suspected cases, all possibly linked to seasonal workers, KMSP reported.

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According to Barron County public health officials, roughly 44% of workers at the Seneca Foods facility in Cumberland, Wisconsin, have tested positive for the virus, but an exact figure has not been made available, WCCO reported.

“We are taking a united approach to this response by identifying people who are positive or symptomatic as quickly as possible and ensure that they get the care they need,” the company’s senior vice president, Matt Henschler, posted on Facebook nearly two weeks ago.

Minnesota health officials believe the infected Seneca workers in Glencoe imported the virus from Brownsville, Texas, on the southern border with Mexico. Brownsville officials announced in July it was experiencing a Red Level 4 event on the COVID-19 Threat Matrix, meaning the virus’ spread is severe and uncontrolled, KMSP reported.