Brown County currently has the highest rate of COVID-19 growth in the state outside of Milwaukee with 119 new cases since Friday, and that jump has been linked primarily to a meat packing plant in Green Bay, WTAQ reported on Monday.
Health Department Spokesman Ted Shove says the largest spike is at the JBS Meat Packing Plant on Green Bay’s Lime Kiln Road. Other spikes have been detected at American Food Group and Salm Partners in Denmark, but Shove says that the number of cases in those facilities are an order of magnitude less than at JBS.
The Centers for Disease Control has arrived in Brown County to assist county officials with contact tracing.
Shove says food remains safe to eat and that the COVID-19 does not spread via food. JBS and other impacted employers have been advised to take precautions to protect employee safety.
“We have provided recommendations to JBS,” Shove told reporters Monday. “If necessary, we will consider enforcement options.”
All are essential workplaces as part of the food supply chain. A testing facility has been set up at JBS.
There are 297 confirmed cases of the COVID-19 in Brown County, including five in the Oneida nation. There are 29 patients out of isolation with decreasing symptoms, and 22 patients hospitalized.
JBS also closed a plant in Worthington, Minnesota on Monday according to sister station KELO in Sioux Falls.