See if this doesn’t scare you.
As of this morning, 359 employees and contract workers of Triumph Foods, who presented for testing sample collection with no related symptoms, have received positive results for COVID-19. Results from this comprehensive testing continue to come in on a rolling basis, and updates will continue to be provided this weekend as results are received and case contact tracing is continued.
Additional COVID-19 results in from asymptomatic testing from Buchanan County food plant
As announced yesterday, the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services (DHSS) partnered with the City of St. Joseph Health Department, Northwest Health Services and Mosaic Life Care to offer COVID-19 testing to all employees and contract staff at Triumph Foods in St. Joseph. The latest results show 167 new cases among Triumph Foods staff who were not showing symptoms. These cases are among the 916 employees who had samples collected Tuesday.
Prior to this week, Triumph Foods had a total of 46 employees test positive for the virus that causes COVID-19. On Monday, comprehensive testing of asymptomatic employees began. Of 707 employees tested, 92 received positive results. A total of 305 employees currently have laboratory-confirmed COVID-19.
Samples were collected for testing at the processing facility from an additional 709 employees on Wednesday and Thursday, bringing the total tested to more than 2,300. Any employees who are still seeking testing can do so next week through the mobile testing site operated by Northwest Health Services.
DHSS has staff on site in St. Joseph today assisting with case investigations and contact tracing. Staff from surrounding local public health agencies are assisting as well.
“We continue to work closely with our partners to monitor this situation,” said Dr. Randall Williams, director of DHSS. “Many thanks to the employees for the important work that they do and for their willingness to be tested and to follow our guidance which will prevent further spread of this virus.”
The Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services (DHSS) partnered with the City of St. Joseph Health Department, and tested 707 employees, who presented asymptomatically, at Triumph Food facilities after 34 of the plant’s employees received positive results after being tested prior to this week.
Of the 707 employees tested, 92 tested positive for the virus that causes COVID-19. Remember, all of them were asymptomatic.
Approximately 1,500 employees had samples collected for testing on Tuesday and Wednesday, and those results are pending. Employees with positive results are being notified by the City of St. Joseph Health Department.
Those with positive results will be told to isolate, and public health professionals will assist these patients with notifications of those determined to be close contacts. Triumph Foods is making notifications to those who have tested negative. All who were tested will be notified with their results by Saturday.
At the request of the City of St. Joseph Health Department, the State is sending staff support to assist with contact tracing efforts, and more testing is to be expected as close contacts of COVID-19 patients are notified.
Per CDC guidance, those who did not have COVID-19 symptoms but tested positive and are self-isolating can leave their “sick room” when at least 7 days have passed since the date of the first positive test and they continue to have no symptoms since the test. For 3 additional days, this group of people should continue to limit contact and wear a face covering for their nose and mouth when other people are present.
Williams added, “We are grateful that our purposeful testing strategy to increase capacity for testing allows us this opportunity to do comprehensive testing, and we will continue to work closely with the employees, elected local leaders and our partners at the City of St. Joseph Health Department, Northwest Health Services, Triumph Foods and Mosaic Life Care to protect the health of the community.”