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Tyson announces plan to open medical clinics at several meat plants

Tyson announces plan to open medical clinics at several meat plants
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Tyson Foods announced Thursday plans to open medical clinics at several meat packaging plants to better provide for workers' health and protection from COVID-19, according to a press release.

The company, based out of Springdale, Ark., processes nearly 20 percent of all pork, beef and chicken in the nation.

Tyson said plans to open clinics at worksites were in development before the COVID-19 pandemic struck this year, though the facilities will help the company treat any workers who may fall ill from the virus.

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The first clinics will be rolled out through a pilot program near seven of its plants, including in Storm Lake, Iowa, and Holcomb, Kan.

“This is a big investment, but it can pay off dramatically in both savings for the individual and for the company as well as improving health and productivity,” Larry Boress, executive director of the National Association of Worksite Health Centers, told The Associated Press.

Earlier this year, several COVID-19 outbreaks were traced to workers at meatpacking facilities, including some at Tyson's plants across the U.S.

Around 17,700 meatpacking workers in the country have been infected or exposed to the coronavirus, and 115 fatalities have been reported at plants, the United Food and Commercial Workers said.

In April, two employees at a Tyson pork processing plant in Iowa died from complications due to COVID-19.