138 employees at Hanford meat plant test positive for COVID-19

More employees at the Central Valley Meat Company in Hanford have contracted COVID-19.
HANFORD, Calif. (KFSN) -- More employees at the Central Valley Meat Company in Hanford have contracted COVID-19, officials reported Tuesday.

Kings County Supervisor Doug Verboon said 138 employees tested positive for the virus.

RELATED: More Ruiz Foods employees test positive for COVID-19, bringing total to 107

Ninety-seven of those people live in Kings County, 30 are Tulare County residents and the remaining 11 live in Fresno County.

The latest cases come just over a week after the facility first reported several of their employees tested positive.

This is an update to our original story reported on April 27. That story follows below.

A South Valley facility has joined the growing list of meat processing plants across the country dealing with workers infected with the coronavirus.

Central Valley Meat Company in Hanford says several of its employees have tested positive for COVID-19, and that "several of these individuals were identified through the company's daily pre-screening process..."

Company officials say other workers who may have come into contact with the sick employees are being identified and tested, and anyone who tests positive will be quarantined and not come back to work until cleared by medical professionals.

"The pain was so bad I couldn't even hardly walk," said one employee who tested positive earlier this month. "My whole body hurt. I felt like I had been hit by a train."

Before they got sick, the employee says they noticed plenty of workers showing cold and flu-like symptoms inside the facility, despite the pre-screening process.

Action News disguised the worker's voice to protect their identity.

"There's always people working side by side and there's no such thing as six foot distancing, and very rarely did I see anybody wearing masks," the worker said. "I could probably count it on my one hand, people wearing masks."

"The company has been following CDC guidelines and has initiated multiple other processes and procedures to provide the greatest safety measures possible for our employees," company officials said.

They add that masks and social distancing are core aspects of their procedures and will send any symptomatic workers home.

The employee is skeptical of those claims and feels strongly that the facility should be shut down, for the safety of their co-workers and the general public who consumes their meat products.

But for now, Central Valley Meat Company remains open.

For more news coverage on the coronavirus and COVID-19 go to ABC30.com/coronavirus
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