SANTA TERESA, Texas -- A coronavirus outbreak at a southern New Mexico meat plant has grown larger, with up to 14% of its workforce testing positive, state health officials confirmed Thursday afternoon to ABC-7.
The New Mexico Department of Health said two rounds of testing at Stampede Meat in Santa Teresa has found 57 employees are infected.
All of those diagnosed with Covid-19 are off the job and self-quarantining until cleared by a doctor, officials said. Another round of testing at the plant, which employs over 400 people, is set for next week.
Of the 57 workers who tested positive for the virus, the health department said 24 are New Mexico residents while the other 33 live in Texas - mostly in El Paso.
The Stampede plant is following health department guidelines for disinfecting the facility and is providing workers with personal protective equipment that includes face masks, face/neck fabric masks and even plastic face shields, officials said.
While health leaders applauded plant management for cooperating in efforts to keep the plant in safe operation, ABC-7 recently reported that the facility had been the target of OSHA complaints by workers who expressed Covid-19 concerns weeks before the first confirmed case was announced.
Currently, "Stampede’s processing facilities go through a rigorous cleaning process every single day," company president and CEO Brock Furlong said in a statement issued after word of the 57 cases was made public.