Foster Farms has completed extensive COVID-19 testing of workers at its turkey processing facilities in Stanislaus County and at its chicken processing facilities in Fresno County, California. A total of 6,314 COVID-19 tests were administered to 3,405 workers, the vast majority being tested twice within a seven-day time span. This marked the continuation of one of the most comprehensive and rapid testing efforts undertaken in California.
Previously, Foster Farms had conducted similar testing at its Livingston chicken processing plant. All major California processing facilities have now been tested, and in all instances the prevalence of COVID-19 has been found to be less than 1 percent. The few employees who did test positive have been advised to self-isolate and will receive all appropriate medical benefits; they have our hopes for a quick recovery.
Stanislaus County testing results
Foster Farms maintains two turkey processing plants and associated facilities in the city of Turlock, located in Stanislaus County. Between Sept. 3 and Sept. 11, the company conducted two rounds of COVID-19 testing among workers.
A total of 2,134 tests were completed with an overall COVID-19 prevalence level of less than 1 percent. The Turlock facilities employ a total of 1,199 workers. The Turlock Turkey Distribution Center, a support facility with 30 employees, recorded a single positive and therefore a slightly higher rate of 3.33 percent.
Concurrent with the progressive lifting of COVID-19 restrictions following Memorial Day and July 4 in California and Stanislaus County, the Turlock facilities experienced an increase in COVID-19 positive cases. Since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic Foster Farms Turlock facilities have reported 75 COVID-19 positive cases, with 43 individuals having already returned to work.
Fresno County testing results
Foster Farms maintains two chicken processing plants in Fresno County. Between Sept. 1 and Sept. 10, the company conducted two rounds of COVID-19 testing among plant workers. A total of 4,180 tests were completed with an overall COVID-19 prevalence level of less than 1 percent.
Foster Farms processing plants employ a total 2,612 workers. Concurrent with the progressive lifting of COVID-19 restrictions following Memorial Day and July 4 in California and Fresno County, the Foster Farms facilities experienced an increase in positive cases.
Since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, Foster Farms Fresno facilities have reported 158 COVID-19 positive cases, with 75 individuals having already returned to work. Regrettably there also have been two deaths arising from complications associated with COVID-19, and we have expressed our sincerest condolences to loved ones and family members.
Foster Farms closely follows CDC guidance and began implementing mitigation efforts to protect workers in mid-March. These efforts now include daily wellness and temperature checks, partitioning of work and break area spaces, providing face mask and face shields to employees, along with ongoing communication to the workforce.
Foster Farms will be conducting follow-up surveillance testing at its major processing facilities to further identify and reduce the risk of COVID-19 to workers.
COVID-19 represents a continuing challenge to all who live and work in California. This challenge is especially felt by companies like Foster Farms that share the special responsibility of keeping food on supermarket shelves, while ensuring the health and welfare of employees.