Employee at Cargill in Dayton dies from COVID-19

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DAYTON, Va. (WHSV) — An employee of Cargill Inc. in Dayton has died from COVID-19, according to a company spokesperson.

"Our sympathy is with the family who is mourning the loss of a loved one. We are working hand in hand with the local health departments to take every possible precaution to keep our employees safe while we work to nourish the world. We care about our teammates -- their safety remains our focus," a press release said.

The statement did not identify the late employee but said the person was not working at the time and was self-quarantined following the company's detailed screening process.

In the statement, Cargill said it is deeply saddened by the loss and it is working closely with local health officials to ensure appropriate prevention, testing, cleaning and quarantine protocols in its facilities.

Cargill said it has taken extra precautions to support its workers, including:

Enforcing a mandatory 14-day quarantine for employees who have tested positive for or been exposed to COVID-19, as well as any employees who may have come into contact with any team member who has tested positive for the virus;

· Temperature testing;
· Providing face masks;
· Enhancing the cleaning and sanitizing of our facilities;
· Prohibiting visitors from entering our facilities;
· Offering staggered breaks and shift flexibility for employees;
· Increasing distancing between employees; and
· Communicating the importance of social distancing at home and at work as well as the importance of quarantining and return-to-work timing.

"Our employees are working hard to take care of the nation, so we are taking extra steps to care of them and their families. In addition to the health and safety measures mentioned above, we are offering enhanced benefits for our employees, including providing up to 14 days of additional paid leave for COVID-19 related needs. We care deeply about our co-workers and the communities where we live and work," the statement added.

On Monday, drivers rallied in the Shenandoah Valley in support of poultry plant employees to demand their health and safety are priortized in their workplace environments.