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Coronavirus outbreak closes southern Indiana poultry plant

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About 100 workers at a southern Indiana poultry processing plant have tested positive for the coronavirus in an outbreak that has it closed until at least Wednesday.

Posted: May 19, 2020 9:03 AM

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — About 100 workers at a southern Indiana poultry processing plant have tested positive for the coronavirus in an outbreak that has it closed until at least Wednesday.

Fourteen more Indiana residents have died from coronavirus illnesses, pushing the state’s death toll from confirmed or presumed cases of COVID-19 closer to 1,800, state health officials said Monday.

POULTRY PLANT OUTBREAK

Farbest Foods had the nearly 600 workers at its Huntingburg plant tested on Friday and the company was working Monday and Tuesday to notify healthy employees on when to return, said Ted Seger, president of the Jasper-based company.

Farbest’s Huntingburg plant is at least the fourth Indiana meat or poultry processing plant that has faced outbreaks of COVID-19 among its workforce similar to others in the industry across the country.

The worst such outbreak in Indiana has been at a Tyson pork-processing plant in Logansport, which was closed for nearly two weeks and tests confirmed COVID-19 infections among nearly 900 of the plant’s 2,200 employees, the company said. Smaller outbreaks happened at Indiana Packers Corp. in Delphi and Miller Poultry in Orland.

Seger said in a statement that tests confirmed 101 of the Farbest workers as infected with COVID-19 but without symptoms, while 23 tests were pending verification.

The Farbest cases have fueled 91 new confirmed coronavirus infections since Friday that have more than doubled the total number of cases to 161 in DuBois County, where the plant is located, according to Monday’s state health department update.

State health crews have been monitoring cleaning work at the plant ahead of its reopening, said Dr. Kristina Box, the state health commissioner.

Gov. Eric Holcomb said company and local officials have been “working hand in glove with us to make sure we are able to contain that spread.”

VIRUS CASES

All but one of the state's 14 new confirmed COVID-19 deaths occurred on Saturday and Sunday, and they boosted Indiana's confirmed toll to 1,621, the Indiana State Department of Health said. The state agency’s statistics show that another 144 Hoosiers have died from probable infections of COVID-19, the respiratory disease caused by the virus, raising Indiana's confirmed or presumed deaths to 1,765.

The state’s weekly update of pandemic deaths at the state’s nursing homes, released each Monday, shows that deaths at those homes increased by 148 to 732 in a week. That number now accounts for more than 41% of Indiana’s toll from both confirmed and presumed COVID-19 deaths.

Holcomb and other state officials have refused repeatedly to identify nursing homes where deaths have occurred despite complaints from relatives of home residents about a lack of communication about illnesses and deaths. State officials maintain those facilities face federal and state requirements to notify the families about their COVID-19 status.

For most people, the virus causes mild or moderate symptoms, such as fever and cough, that clear up in two to three weeks. For some, especially older adults and people with existing health problems, it can cause more severe illness or death.

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Indiana Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 664446

Reported Deaths: 12663
CountyCasesDeaths
Marion909511650
Lake48568884
Allen36004640
Hamilton32182398
St. Joseph30166513
Elkhart25453419
Vanderburgh21300382
Tippecanoe20143203
Johnson16407361
Porter16042276
Hendricks15877300
Clark12018181
Madison11776319
Vigo11660231
Monroe10379163
Delaware9870179
LaPorte9802198
Howard9083199
Kosciusko8582111
Bartholomew7488147
Warrick7438151
Hancock7428133
Floyd7243170
Wayne6648192
Grant6446157
Boone610989
Morgan6106126
Dubois5925112
Dearborn549969
Cass547299
Marshall5439105
Henry542594
Noble510578
Jackson465167
Shelby461991
Lawrence4193113
Harrison402564
Gibson402083
Clinton396753
Montgomery389683
DeKalb387178
Knox357885
Miami357863
Whitley350237
Huntington347377
Steuben339555
Wabash332676
Putnam331260
Ripley327862
Adams324749
Jasper318143
White297952
Jefferson295874
Daviess285696
Fayette272156
Decatur271188
Greene262080
Posey261431
Wells258675
Scott251350
LaGrange241870
Clay241444
Randolph225676
Spencer218930
Jennings216344
Washington212827
Sullivan203639
Fountain202142
Starke189051
Owen183253
Fulton179837
Jay178528
Carroll176619
Perry173736
Orange171250
Rush165322
Vermillion161442
Franklin159635
Tipton148441
Parke140016
Pike128233
Blackford120727
Pulaski107344
Newton96632
Brown95140
Benton92213
Crawford91713
Martin80314
Warren75914
Switzerland7558
Union67510
Ohio54011
Unassigned0432

COVID-19 Important links and resources

As the spread of COVID-19, or as it's more commonly known as the coronavirus continues, this page will serve as your one-stop for the resources you need to stay informed and to keep you and your family safe. CLICK HERE

Closings related to the prevention of the COVID-19 can be found on our Closings page.

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