The following is a statement issued by Sidney Newman, Complex Manager at Tyson Foods in Tempranceville:
“The community in Delmarva is diverse. Many of us cross state lines daily, working in one and living in another. We’re surrounded by the beautiful scenery and challenging geography of the bay, both in the city and in the country. This community is like no other in America and it’s where I make my home to raise my family.
“COVID-19 has disrupted our community and forced changes on us all, but these changes are to help keep us safe. As the complex manager of the Temperanceville facility, safety is a top priority. It’s a question I ask myself every day: how do I help keep all 1,300 members of our Tyson community safe? How do we — a major employer — operate in the best interest of our workers and consumers?
“We’re working hard to protect our team members during this ever-changing situation, while also ensuring we continue fulfilling our critical role of helping feed people across the country and keeping thousands employed. We check worker temperatures and require all team members wear surgical masks that we provide daily to each employee at the start of his or her shift. We’ve implemented social distancing measures, such as installing workstation dividers and barriers in our breakrooms and are requiring all locations have social distancing monitors, people who will help remind our team members of best practices. We sanitize our facilities daily and have increased sanitizing for frequently touched surfaces such as doors and tables and encourage frequent and increased hand washing. In March, we relaxed our attendance policy to encourage people to stay home when they’re sick and we continue to remind them to follow CDC guidelines at home as well as at work.
“Our team members have mandatory health care coverage and we’ve made changes by waiving a five consecutive day waiting period for Short Term Disability benefits so employees can receive pay while they’re sick with the flu or COVID-19. In addition, we’re waiving the co-pay, co-insurance and deductible for doctor visits for COVID-19 testing as well as eliminating pre-approval or preauthorization steps. We’ve waived co-pays for the use of telemedicine and are relaxing refill limits for 30-day prescriptions of maintenance medication.
“No one should be fearful to go to work. Because our plants are already focused on the importance of food safety, we have always kept the environments within them clean through strict sanitary processes. During this time, we are increasing the frequency of and enhancing those processes even more. When coupled with all the other things we are doing in our plants, I truly believe they’re one of the safest places for a person to be. I want everyone in this community to know we are committed to maintaining a safe working environment at Temperanceville.
“It’s during these times of uncertainty when communities come together to support and help one another. We are doing just that at Tyson Foods. If there are questions or concerns about our policies or practices, please reach out to our management team.”