200 workers test positive for coronavirus at Dole plant in Ohio

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SPRINGFIELD, Ohio (AP) — At least 200 employees in a vegetables plant in western Ohio have tested positive for the coronavirus, Ohio’s governor said Wednesday,

Gov. Mike DeWine announced that total during a briefing in Columbus. The Springfield News-Sun reported earlier that the Clark County Combined Health District recently tested 829 employees from the Dole Fresh Vegetables plant in Springfield.

The testing was done in an effort to slow workplace spread after confirmation of the first employee with the virus in late April.

Emma Smales, a health district spokesperson, said authorities are still investigating where and how the virus was being spread. Affected workers are quarantining, she said.

Dole corporate spokesman William Goldfield said the Ohio plant will continue operating with additional safety measures, such as employee temperature checks before entering the plant.

“Of course, as an essential business, we are striving to get salads to people around the country, but are focused on providing a safe and healthy workplace for our employees and their respective families,” California-based Dole’s statement said. “The safety of our employees, contractors, families, communities and products remains Dole’s top priority.”

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