IOWA — The Iowa Department of Public is confirming another COVID-19 outbreak at a meat processing plant, this time in Storm Lake.
Five-hundred and fifty-five of the 2,517 employees at the Tyson pork processing plant in Storm Lake have tested positive so far, according to Sarah Reisetter with IDPH. The announcement of the outbreak comes one day after Governor Kim Reynolds was pressed for answers on a spike of hundreds of new COVID-19 cases in Buena Vista County.
According to IDPH guidelines, an “outbreak” of COVID-19 is defined as 10% or more of a workforce testing positive. However, Reisetter says that is a difficult statistic to calculate because IDPH doesn’t have employment figures for most Iowa businesses.
Businesses have been asked to self-report when they meet the 10% positive test threshold. Reisetter says without self-reporting it is difficult for IDPH to confirm outbreaks because there are so many options for COVID-19 testing outside of Test Iowa sites.
Governor Reynolds has said she will not confirm outbreaks at businesses other than long term care centers unless she is specifically asked about them.