Nov. 9 (UPI) — A New Mexico meat manufacturing plant is suing the state after being requested to shut its doorways for 2 weeks following six optimistic COVID-19 checks amongst its workers inside 4 days.
Illinois-based Stampede Meat, which runs a 550-employee processing plant in Sunland, N.M., close to El Paso, pushed again towards new state well being division guidelines mandating that any enterprise with 4 rapid-testing optimistic outcomes inside two weeks would want to briefly shut.
The corporate offers thousands and thousands of kilos of meat merchandise for shops corresponding to Costco and Walmart.
In a case, filed Monday in New Mexico District Court docket, Stampede says closing would imply the corporate must destroy thousands and thousands of kilos of meat, which may contribute to a nationwide meat scarcity. The corporate stated they need to be allowed to remain open due to President Donald Trump’s govt order invoking the Protection Manufacturing Act permitting meat factories to stay open to forestall meals shortages throughout the pandemic.
The state well being division reported an outbreak of six optimistic rapid-response COVID-19 checks inside 4 days amongst workers of Stampede Meat’s Sunland plant. Inside two weeks, the state’s watchlist confirmed that Stampede had 11 optimistic checks.
New guidelines say companies with outbreaks should briefly shut and comply with deep-cleaning and office protocols. Failure to conform could lead to felony prosecution and/or fines, the state stated.
The corporate stated the variety of workers contaminated was a small proportion of the general workforce and that any worker who has examined optimistic has stayed dwelling in quarantine.
The variety of optimistic circumstances in New Mexico has been rising quickly, prompting New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham to problem new, extra restrictive public well being orders in October that expire Nov. 13.
As of Nov. 6, the New Mexico Division of Public Well being reported 56,289 circumstances of COVID-19, with 1,130 complete deaths. As of Monday, 82 % of common beds at New Mexico hospitals are occupied, and 66 % of ICU beds are full, the general public well being division stated.
Stampede has had 100 circumstances amongst workers for the reason that pandemic started, the state’s environmental division spokeswoman, Maddy Hayden, informed NBC.
Final spring, because the virus unfold, Stampede workers complained at the least 3 times to New Mexico’s state bureau of the Occupational Security and Well being Administration that they have been unable to socially distance and felt unsafe at work.
New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham’s workplace informed KRQU that the state was assured that courts would uphold a state well being order, including that Stampede Meat’s 11 speedy responses is “to this point past the 4 case threshold that it’s alarming.”