AUSTIN, Minn- Mower County is seeing a dramatic spike in Covid-19 cases. Mower County reported 40 new cases today.
Out of 18 counties in our viewing area, Mower County has the second-highest number of cases: 406.
Earlier this week Mower County Health and Human Services reported an alarming increase of 150 cases over the week before. Pam Kellogg with the department says they’re seeing multiple cases in single-family households and among those carpooling. Also, a good chunk of the cases linked to employers in the area including Hormel.
"Looking at one of our hot spots in the county is the QPP plant and also at Hormel,” Kellogg said. “So we are working with the two plants to see if we can get some mass testing done with their employees."
In statement from Hormel:
"It is important to note that Hormel Foods and QPP are two separate companies. QPP is an independent third-party supplier to Hormel Foods. Hormel Foods is a global branded food company that produces brands including SKIPPY® peanut butter, Justin’s® nut butters, Wholly® guacamole dips, Herdez® salsas, Applegate® products, Dinty Moore® beef stew and Hormel® chili along with a wide variety of other well-known brands."
"At our Austin Plant, our KEEP COVID OUT! campaign is helping to keep our team members safe. Thus far, out of more than 1800 team members at the Austin Plant, we have had just over 50 cases at the plant. The virus doesn’t originate at our plants, it is in our communities which is why KEEP COVID OUT! campaign is so important."
"We know that this is a fluid situation that may change at any time as area businesses reopen, restrictions are lessened as well as the recent Memorial Day activities. As such, there is a continuing possibility that as the spread in our communities increases, we will most likely see our team members affected. We continue our robust team member safety procedures including health and temperature screenings, requiring masks and other PPE, onsite health professionals to consult and advise and innovative social distancing protocols."
"We have focused on extensive preventative measures outlined above as well as education for team members on the COVID-19 virus in multiple languages and our KEEP COVID OUT! campaign. Given the rise in cases in the area, stopping the spread of the virus is why our KEEP COVID OUT! initiative is so important. The KEEP COVID OUT! campaign reminds our team members that we share a responsibility to help stop the spread of COVID-19 in our work, homes and communities. With our KEEP COVID OUT! campaign, we are adding the additional steps to remind people how important all the preventative efforts are once they out in the community or at home."