A poultry-processing plant where at least 358 workers have tested positive for the coronavirus and eight have died was ordered by county health officials in California to temporarily shut down, officials said Thursday.
The Foster Farms plant in Livingston - in the heart of California's Central Valley, about 115 miles southeast of downtown San Francisco - was told to close this week by the Merced County Department of Public Health.
"Due to the number of deaths and a need to quickly test both permanent and temporary employees at the Foster Farms Livingston Facility, the Merced County Health Officer has ordered the Foster Farms Poultry Processing Plant to close until the plant is able to reopen safely," the health department said Thursday in a statement.
Later Thursday night, a Merced County spokesman told the Fresno Bee that the county granted a 48-hour stay on the order to “help facilitate logistics associated with any necessary closure.” The spokesman, Mike North, said the stay was issued following a phone call with the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s secretary for food safety.
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Phone calls and emails to Foster Farms, which is headquartered in Livingston, did not receive an immediate response Friday morning.
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