I hope this finds you and your family safe and healthy. These are challenging times for everyone, as no family is immune from the health and financial impact of this crisis. I want to update you on how Salm Partners is dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic.
Starting in March, Salm Partners began to prepare for the challenges COVID-19 was going to bring. We altered our processes, educated our partners on prevention, and developed a response protocol for dealing with a positive case. We made sure our partners knew to stay home when sick, knew when it was safe to return, and increased paid leave. We amended our attendance policy, increased cleaning, and instituted a monthly bonus to recognize the extraordinary efforts being made by our partners. You, our partners, are a great team, and I am very proud of the work you are doing.
Last week was a week of unfortunate milestones. The world crossed 1 million COVID-19 cases. The USA tally reached 300,000. The State of Wisconsin counted its 2,000th case, and Salm Partners had its first partner test positive.
Immediately upon being informed of the positive case, Salm Partners initiated its response protocol. The impacted partner was instructed to quarantine by the Brown County Health Department, partners who were potentially exposed were sent home on paid leave to self-quarantine, and the affected area and shared spaces were thoroughly cleaned.
The steps that we followed are the correct ones for keeping our partners safe, and we will follow them again when we have another positive case. We cannot prevent every partner from getting COVID-19. However, we can do everything in our power to avoid people from getting and spreading COVID-19 in our facility.
The CDC, FDA, and USDA have all said there is no evidence to support transmission of COVID-19 associated with food. Therefore, there is no risk to the safety of the products we produce.
If food production were to stop in this country, the empty grocery shelves would cause panic buying and a nationwide crisis. This is why the US Government and the State of Wisconsin have recognized Salm Partners as part of the nation’s “essential, critical infrastructure” and encouraged food companies to continue producing through the pandemic. We have a special obligation to serve our country and our community, and we will not let them down.
We, Salm Partners, our suppliers, our customers, and the Denmark community, can be proud of the service we together provide to the nation. We produce a nutritious, convenient, delicious product, which serves an important need when all of the country is eating at home. We thank our local community for supporting us with many of our necessities, including cheese, lean beef, paper and film packaging, transportation, skilled tradesmen, wood pallets, food service, and world class partners.
This crisis has brought out the best in our partners and our community. I would like to give a special thank you to all our partners, our community, and to everyone doing their part in this crisis. Our sympathies go out to those that have been affected by COVID-19, and we hope and pray for their full recovery. Together, as a community of partners, we will prevail.
Keith M. Lindsey
President & CEO