9,000 employees sick as COVID overwhelms Arkansas workplaces

Arkansas News

In this image from the Howard Center for Investigative Journalism at the University of Maryland’s Philip Merrill College of Journalism, a Tyson Berry Street Plant sign is seen in front of the Springdale, Arkansas, Tyson parking lot for hauling chicken products, April 20, 2021. The Berry Street location had more than 400 COVID-19 cases among the workers, the highest number of cases across Arkansas poultry plants. (Abby Zimmardi/University of Arkansas via AP)

SPRINGDALE, Ark. (AP) — A new analysis of COVID-19 cases at workplaces in Arkansas is highlighting Tyson Foods Inc. as a significant source of outbreaks over the past year.

The website Arkansascovid.com and the Howard Center for Investigative Journalism find Tyson accounted for one-third of reported COVID cases in Arkansas workplaces from May 2020 through April 2021.

State health records show some nine thousand Arkansas workers tested positive for COVID.

It’s unclear where workers got the virus, yet several say they weren’t told about sick coworkers. Few Arkansas workers complained to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration.

Just eight of 106 COVID complaints to OSHA involved Arkansas poultry factories.

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