Creekstone believes employee’s recent positive COVID-19 case is


Creekstone Farms Premium Beef said one employee is doing fine after self-reporting and then testing positive for COVID-19 on Sunday.

“He’s got all of the support from his family and the local health department,” said Creekstone General Manager Rudy Steiner. 

Steiner believes the situation is contained.

“The individual is self-isolated and with the help of the health department we did a contact trace”said Steiner. “We’ve identified a few more individuals that came into direct contact with that person, and those individuals are also in quarantine.”

The Cowley County Health Department released a statement on Monday:

“The patient and his family are currently quarantined. Immediate family members are being tested and monitored for any change in health conditions. Prior to reporting illness to his employer the patient had shown no symptoms and was previously interacting in the community in a normal fashion including going to work, shopping and other necessary activities. The patient’s wife has been working from home and the family has not traveled extensively. We are monitoring everyone that may be remotely connected to this case. Any person exposed by close contact will be quarantined and will remain in isolation until the illness has passed.”

The beef processing plant in Ark City employs around 1,100 people and this is its first COVID-19 case. 

Other meat processing plants across the state have had large outbreaks of the coronavirus but Creekstone said its been able to avoid that because of the safety measures its had in place for months. 

“We’ve been very fortunate,” said Steiner. “We’ve adopted… screening and temperature monitoring, washing hands for people that come and go from the facility. So we’re one of the few out there that hasn’t had many cases.”

Thomas Langer, the Cowley County public health officer, said the new case is discouraging but not unexpected. 

“The increase in testing that has been occurring, along with the precautions taken by employers in partnership with the Health Department allowed us to quickly and efficiently identify the case,” said Langer in a release. “This is exactly how the system to test people who have symptoms is supposed to work. I hope everyone in our county takes notice of this new case.”

Steiner said that even before this pandemic, he’s always focused on the safety of his employees and the community.

“I know there’s a lot of fear and anxiety out there and for all of our 1,100 employees and our community I just want to say thank you for their support,” said Steiner. 

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