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Tyson beef plant in Washington will close to test workers

WALLULA, Wash. — The Tyson Fresh Meats beef plant in eastern Washington state is temporarily shutting down to test all its workers for the coronavirus.

Health officials in surrounding counties will work with the company to test the plant's more than 1,400 employees for COVID-19 as soon as possible, according to an announcement from Tyson on Thursday morning.

The plant is located in Wallula, Washington, near the city of Pasco.

The Walla Walla Union-Bulletin reported the number of COVID-19-infected workers at the facility climbed to more than 100 this week, and family and friends of employees joined together to urge the plant to shut down. Most of the workers live in the Tri-Cities area. Other workers live in Walla Walla County and in nearby Oregon.

“Resuming operations is dependent on a variety of factors, including the outcome of team member testing for COVID-19 and how long it takes to get results back,” the company said in a press release.

Workers will be paid during the closure, the company said.

Most people with the virus experience symptoms such as fever and cough for up to three weeks. Older adults and people with existing health problems can face severe illness, including pneumonia, and death.

The Associated Press

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