Five interns with JBS USA in Greeley have contracted the novel coronavirus in a new outbreak that comes even as a much larger outbreak in the beef packing plant slows, according to state health data.
The outbreak among the company’s interns was confirmed by the state on July 3. JBS spokeswoman Nikki Richardson said in a statement Thursday that contact tracing shows the interns contracted the virus outside of the workplace.
“Most of the interns live in individual dorm rooms on the University of Northern Colorado campus and frequently gather together socially, which is how we believe this spread so quickly,” she wrote.
The interns and all of their close contacts at JBS have been put into a 14-day quarantine, she added. The internship program will become completely virtual for the rest of the summer.
It’s the third outbreak JBS has recorded during the coronavirus pandemic — in April, an outbreak began in the plant that has ballooned to 287 infected workers and killed six plant employees.That outbreak is still ongoing, although the pace of new infections has slowed in recent weeks.
A second outbreak at the company’s corporate offices infected five people and killed one, according to data kept by the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment. That outbreak is considered to be over.
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