A state press release says 412 employees and contract workers of Triumph Foods in northwest Missouri’s St. Joseph, with no related symptoms, have tested positive for COVID-19. The results are out of 2,367 workers who were tested on site April 27-May 1 at Triumph Foods. Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services Director Randall Williams says the state is awaiting more results from the mass testing among the plant workers.

Photo courtesy of KFEQ in St. Joseph

As Triumph Foods has informed its team members, DHSS has advised Triumph Food and their staff that the return to work guidance, per the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has been changed from 7 days to 10 days.

The state says anyone who becomes symptomatic should notify their health care provider. Testing continues to be available at the mobile testing site operated by Northwest Health Services.

During Monday’s press conference, Gov. Mike Parson was asked to respond to Triumph employees who might be concerned about returning to work.

“If you don’t want to go back to work, then you don’t have to go back to work necessarily,” says Parson. “There’s other people out there probably I’m sure needing to hire people, too. It’s a question between individuals and businesses how they approach that but I don’t think you’re going to be able to say ‘I just don’t feel comfortable going back to work’ and you’re going to be able to just stay at home.”

The plant has about 2,800 workers.

Today, the state Department of Health and Senior Services reports 8,916 people in Missouri have tested positive for the coronavirus and 377 people have died from complications of the respiratory disease.

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