GUYMON, OKLA. – A Seaboard Foods employee at the company’s pork processing plant in Guymon, Okla., has a confirmed case of coronavirus (COVID-19), a spokesman for the company said.
David Eaheart, senior director of communications and brand marketing at Seaboard Foods, said the individual has not reported to work since being tested and, to date, Seaboard Foods has no other confirmed cases of COVID-19.
“Our main concern has been, and will continue to be, the well-being of our employees,” Eaheart said. “We are providing support to the impacted employee through our COVID-19 paid leave and health benefits programs, which includes two weeks of normal wages.”
The company also has implemented preventive measures and provided resources for plant employees to address the situation. In addition to social distancing and the use of face coverings, the company pre-screens employees using temperature checks prior to entering the plant.
“We’ve instructed the onsite health services office to monitor anyone with flu-like symptoms and determine if there needs to be additional steps taken to care for that person,” Eaheart said. “We continue to ask any employees who don’t feel well to be assessed by health services or web-based medical services and to stay home and self-isolate.”
Seaboard also installed new protective systems like plexiglass dividers on cafeteria tables and extra seating areas to help employees maintain social distancing in break areas.
Finally, the company has enhanced disinfection procedures for the entire facility.
“We’ve increased janitorial staff at plants by 10%, and this staff is focused on regularly sanitizing all areas of the plant, such as offices, bathrooms, common areas, shared electronic equipment, and commonly touched surfaces,” he said. “In addition, we’ve also begun routinely using antiviral fog in employee common areas and offices.”
Seaboard is in the process of finalizing a $100 million economic development package to upgrade the Guymon plant. In December 2019, the Guymon City Council approved an economic development expansion that includes approximately $20 million in real property improvements and $80 million in capital investments in the facility.
Seaboard Foods is a wholly owned subsidiary of Merriam, Kan.-based Seaboard Corp. The company markets and sells fresh pork products under the Prairie Fresh and Seaboard Farms brands.