Swaggerty Sausage confirms COVID-19 cases at Kodak plant, number of employees affected not released

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KODAK, Tenn. (WATE) – Swaggerty Sausage has confirmed employees at its Kodak plant have tested positive for COVID-19.

Swaggerty Sausage said in a release Wednesday that, “We have had employees test positive for COVID-19 in the last few days.” The release did not specify how many employees have been affected.

The plant has enacted the CDC recommended testing strategy for contact tracing, interviewing and testing potentially exposed workers in response. The plant will baseline test personnel and monitor employees symptoms.

Swaggerty Sausage says they enacted the following precautions during the pandemic before the discovery of positive cases:

  • Placed infrared temperature cameras at plant entrances for symptom screening of all employees’ temperatures.
  • Increased sanitation in break rooms and workspaces four-fold.
  • Provided mandatory Personal Protective Equipment (face masks and face shields) to all plant personnel.
  • Placed physical barriers where possible at workstations and breakroom tables.
  • Enforced social distancing during staggered breaks and meal periods.
  • Added multiple hand sanitizers and hand dip stations throughout the plant and all entry and exit points from the facility.
  • Daily cleaning and sanitizing multiple times throughout the day and at end of shift.
  • Expanded paid sick leave and family and medical leave in conjunction with the Family First Coronavirus Response Act.

Those that test negative and are asymptomatic may return to work, while those who test positive will be quarantined per the CDC guidelines”, says Jon Amidei, Chief Operating Officer. “We have a great, committed workforce that strive to produce quite possibly the best tasting sausage in America every day. We are committed to their safety, first and foremost. They do essential work and their health and safety come first.”

The Tennessee Department of Health reported on Wednesday a total of 70 coronavirus cases in Cocke County, up 12 from Tuesday.

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