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

Health officials say of the 107 positive cases, 85 are Tulare County residents, and the other 22 are Fresno County residents.
FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- Thirty more employees at Ruiz Foods have tested positive for coronavirus, according to Tulare County Health and Human Services, bringing the total number of cases at the company's facilities to 107.

Health officials say of the 107 positive cases, 85 are Tulare County residents, and the other 22 are Fresno County residents.

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The outbreak was first reported last week. As of Monday, production at the Dinuba facility has been paused, according to the company.



A spokesperson from Ruiz Foods provided the following statement when the outbreak first occurred:

Ruiz Foods has been taking extraordinary and proactive measures since before Covid-19 was identified as a pandemic. The situation has been a challenge for employers, especially as guidance has changed. We immediately imposed travel restrictions, hygiene requirements, and educated our team members to prevent infection. We have implemented temperature screening and mandatory mask wearing. We have enhanced our already stringent sanitation processes, and worked to improve physical distancing within the facility to the maximum extent feasible.

Still, with Tulare County infections on the rise, we are being impacted. I'm sure you know, Tulare County continues to have the highest number of Covid-19 positive cases out of the six county Central San Joaquin Valley area.

Following CDC, OSHA, and local health authority guidance, we inform any team member who we learn has been exposed to a Covid-19 diagnosed person - whether that exposure is from another team member or a member of the community. We are placing any exposed team members off work for a minimum of 14 days. We also work with the team member to get tested.

Original guidance was to refer the team member to their physician, and we have been doing that. We also have been working with Tulare County HHS and other partners to increase testing options. This has been a challenge, but as more testing options become available we will be able to get more team members tested. In fact, later this week, we are working to have mobile testing units in place in Dinuba to assist us with this process.
This is a pandemic and data changes constantly. Just as governmental and health authorities are throttling restrictions up and down to minimize Covid-19 cases, Ruiz Foods is making data based decisions about our operations. As the level of spread in our communities impacts our Team Members, we will consider the impact and run those lines and shifts that we feel can safely run.

At the same time, our Team Members must remember their responsibility too ... when they are not at work in the evening or over the weekend. They must remember to stay at home, don't congregate in large groups, wash their hands frequently and wear face masks when going out to the grocery store or pharmacy. We are in this together and we each must do our part.

At the same time, while we recognize that we are an essential business, what is and will always be more important to Ruiz Foods is the health and safety of the Team Members who work in our facilities.


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