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Outbreak at Iowa pork plant nearly twice what state reported

This Wednesday, April 17, 2013 photo shows the Tyson Foods pork processing plant in Columbus Junction, Iowa.
This Wednesday, April 17, 2013 photo shows the Tyson Foods pork processing plant in Columbus Junction, Iowa.(NBC15)
Published: Jul. 22, 2020 at 11:32 AM CDT
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IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) - One of the first coronavirus outbreaks at an Iowa meatpacking plant was more severe than previously known, with over twice as many workers becoming infected than the Iowa Department of Public Health publicly confirmed.

The department announced at a May 5 news conference that 221 employees at the Tyson Foods pork processing plant in Columbus Junction had tested positive for COVID-19. But records show that days earlier, Tyson officials told workplace safety regulators that 522 plant employees had tested positive to their knowledge.

A dozen of the plant’s roughly 1,300 workers were believed to have been hospitalized by then, and two died after contracting the virus.

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