Iowa officials announced today a coronavirus outbreak at the Tyson Pork Processing Plant in Storm Lake, where at least 555 of the 2,517 employees tested positive for the virus.
Buena Vista County, the location of the plant, currently has 700 cases of Covid-19 and saw a sharp spike of 427 new cases two days ago, according to state data.
Tyson, in a statement, said that they have "been working closely with local health officials" and the company "has conducted large-scale Covid-19 testing in Storm Lake."
"This is part of our efforts to help communities where we operate better understand Covid-19 and the protective measures that can be taken to help prevent its spread," the statement said.
The announcement comes as state officials have been facing questions about their transparency in releasing this information.
Yesterday, Iowa Department of Public Health Deputy Director Sarah Reisetter said that the state would only confirm outbreaks at businesses if 10% of a company's employees test positive and only if asked.
"We've been announcing them at these press conferences as the questions have been asked," Reisetter said.
She added, "Businesses are not currently required to report outbreaks to the department of public health."
Furthermore, she noted that "it is a sensitive balance between protecting patient identity and protecting the health of the public."