While the Eastern Shore slowly weaves its way through the COVID-19 pandemic, many residents are following the state reports each day. Some have repeatedly questioned when the poultry plant testing conducted by Tyson and Perdue will be reflected in the state numbers.
According to Jon Richardson, the Chief Operating Officer of the Eastern Shore Health District, approximately 300 of the 510 positive tests from the two Accomack County poultry plants have not yet been reflected in state numbers. Richardson attributed this to the communication between the Virginia Department of Health and the private testing facility as well has limited staff on the Eastern Shore for data imputation. Understandably, the demand for COVID-19 testing, results and the corresponding information is at fever pitch currently. Richardson added his staff worked through the Memorial Day Weekend.
“I still need many of them[staff] to ensure we are following up on all cases, which is of primary public health importance,” said Richardson.
The Eastern Shore Health District released the results of the poultry plant and drive through testing back on May 15 to ensure Eastern Shore residents were aware of the numbers and also for fears the results may be hung up from getting into the VDH’s report.
However, this does not mean Accomack and Northampton County’s numbers will necessarily increase by 300 over the next week, because many of the plant workers do not live on the Eastern Shore of Virginia.
“I recognize it is causing frustration in the community and I assure you we are doing all we can to get those numbers to show up in our counts,” added Richardson.