A newly reopened North Carolina hair salon said it will not serve Tyson Foods employees due to an outbreak at the local poultry processing plant.
SmartCuts in Wilkesboro posted a sign in the shop window Memorial Day weekend reading “Due to the number of Tyson employees who have tested positive for Covid19, and given the close contact experienced during our services, we are unable to serve Tyson employees. We sincerely apologize for this decision, and we ask for your understanding,” according to HuffPost.
About 570 workers have tested positive at the processing plant, one of the area’s largest employers. A manager told the publication the policy was necessary to protect public health.
“We respect their business, and we really appreciate that they’re essential workers,” the manager, Cathy, who declined to give her last name, said of the poultry plant employees. “But that puts them at risk.”
“We don’t want to turn down business. We’re trying to keep the general population safe and asking them [Tyson employees] to do the self-quarantine thing, where they’re not coming into contact with other people,” she told HuffPost.
Amy McGinty, who has worked at the plant for 13 years, said the sign was another example of people looking at her and colleagues “like a disease.”
“They’re getting our food, but they won’t service us,” she told HuffPost. “Even people I knew as friends, I can tell they don’t want to be around me.”
Meatpacking plants across the country have become hot spots for coronavirus outbreaks. Iowa state officials said 730 workers at a Tyson facility in Perry, Iowa, totaling 58 percent of the staff, had contracted the virus. More than 1,600 workers at four meatpacking plans across the state became sick.
In Indiana, nearly 900 workers at a single Tyson plant reportedly tested positive in April.