Independence County Judge Robert Griffin has released a statement regarding how the county is working with local poultry leaders and healthcare officials during the COVID-19 crisis.
The statement from Griffin reads:
Due to recent reports of U.S. food processing plant closures due to COVID-19 illness among workers, I wanted to share what we are doing in Independence County. The poultry industry is an important part of our local economy with the highest number of employees and the industry’s significance to the food supply. I’ve contacted our local poultry managers to discuss how we can work with the industry to ensure the safety of employees while at work.
My office is working with the local medical community, as well as national, state, and local leaders to ensure adequate screening and testing of residents. At a meeting Friday with White River Health System CEO Gary Paxson and his team; County Health Officer Dr. Jordan Weaver; representatives of Senator John Boozman, Congressman Rick Crawford’s Office, and the Arkansas Department of Health; and our leaders from Custom Craft Poultry, Ozark Mountain Poultry, and Peco Foods, Tammy Gavin, a member of FACHE [Fellow of the American College of Healthcare Executives], presented information on precaution protocols, screening, and testing criteria. The group discussed the need for additional test swabs and reagents to expand testing.
We appreciate the support of Senator Boozman and Congressman Crawford to share the message of a need for additional testing supplies. I want to thank the poultry industry executives for their proactive measures, and Gary Paxson and our local community for their efforts to increase screening and testing.
I am committed to facilitating cooperation between the public and private sector to ensure the safety of our citizens. I want to encourage everyone to continue to: 1. Wear a mask or face-covering in public, 2. Practice social distancing, and 3. Wash your hands frequently.
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