MEDIA STATEMENT | April 20, 2020

MEDIA STATEMENT

April 20, 2020

Brown County Health officials have identified employees of Salm Partners as testing positive for COVID-19. Out of the 500 individuals employed at the plant’s Denmark facility, 10 full time employees have been diagnosed with the coronavirus over the last three weeks. None have been confirmed as contracting the virus while at work and these individuals have been on paid leave since they felt ill from symptoms.

“We have taken aggressive and immediate measures to protect our partners,” said Keith Lindsey, president and chief executive officer of Salm Partners. “Food production has been identified as an essential industry in our country and we need a healthy workforce to continue producing products to feed the nation. We are enacting all measures at our disposal to ensure the safety of our people and the food supply of our nation.”

In cooperation with the Brown County Health Department, leadership at Salm Partners is working to make voluntary testing available to its employees. Although it has been difficult to obtain, the company will make testing free to all employees.

“It’s about keeping our partners and their families safe,” Lindsey said. “Some people carry the disease without feeling or showing symptoms, so we want to make testing available to all of our partners.”

Salm Partners has instituted thorough personal health protection such as:

  • Every individual entering the facility is placed 6’ apart while going through a health screening which includes a wellness interview
  • Prior to entering the plant, all partners are given temperature checks using an infrared camera
  • Some workers are bused in from outside of Denmark. Salm Partners has tripled the number of buses to ensure social distancing on the buses and checks temperatures of people boarding the bus. Buses are cleaned and disinfected before and after every shift and all riders wear face masks
  • All partners wear a face mask in the facility

The company’s main facility in Denmark has been updated to ensure for individual health and safety such as:

  • A large tent outside the front entrance was installed to better regulate the flow of individuals into the plant within social distancing guidelines
  • One entrance is being used to ensure compliance for all partners, contractors, and essential visitors
  • The company instituted a new process for entering/exiting to remove cross traffic
  • There is increased cleaning in common areas, locker rooms, break rooms, and washrooms
  • Instituted 6 feet social distancing in break rooms (1 chair and 1 individual per table)
  • Split up former congregation points, such as time clocks and frocks
  • Built physical dividers across packaging machines to separate partners
  • Non-essential visitors are banned from the facility

“We are vigilant in controlling any source of transmission in our immediate workplace, but the nature of this virus has infected every corner of our world. As an essential link in our food supply, we take infection control seriously,” Lindsey said.

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EDITOR’S NOTE: Salm Partners refers to all employees as “partners.”

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