Company Effort to Ensure Workplace Safety and Maintain Critical Operations on Behalf of the Nation
JBS USA announced it is working in partnership with the U.S. federal government, Colorado Governor Jared Polis, U.S. Senator Cory Gardner (CO) and Centennial State Lab, an independent laboratory in Colorado Springs, Colo., to secure COVID-19 tests for all of its team members at the Greeley, Colo., beef production facility.
As the world faces this global pandemic, local communities and companies have also been impacted. The Greeley beef facility has experienced increased absenteeism as coronavirus has spread across the country and local communities, including more than 670 cases in Weld County. JBS USA continues to learn and adapt to this crisis every day, along with the rest of the country.
“While the measures we have taken within our facility to improve safety have made a positive impact, COVID-19 remains a threat across the United States and in Weld County, which is why we are investing more than $1 million in COVID-19 testing kits for our team members,” said Andre Nogueira, JBS USA CEO. “Greeley is our home and more than 6,000 JBS team members and their families live in Weld County. We currently have 36 JBS employees who have tested positive in Weld County and we are offering support to our team members and their families. No matter what measures we take in our facilities, we must all work together to prevent the continued spread of coronavirus in our communities.”
Earlier this week, JBS USA reached out to Governor Polis and Senator Gardner to request support in securing COVID-19 tests for its team members at the Greeley beef production facility. In discussions with Centennial State Lab, coordinated by Senator Gardner, and with support from the White House and Governor Polis, several thousand test kits will be provided to its beef production team members in Greeley.
In partnership with the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment, UCHealth, Centennial State Lab and other medical professionals, JBS Greeley will use the Easter holiday weekend, including an existing collectively bargained paid holiday on Monday, to coordinate team member testing. The company will also use this opportunity to further enhance previously announced deep cleaning efforts at the facility.
The company is optimistic that increased screening and testing, in addition to current temperature checking practices with hands-free thermometers and thermal imaging technology, will provide confidence to its workforce and the community that this critical infrastructure facility will continue to operate and provide food for local families and the country during these challenging times.
“We are grateful to Governor Polis and Senator Gardner, who have helped us procure the tests, and for all they are doing to protect Coloradans,” Nogueira continued. “We also thank Vice President Mike Pence for his leadership in prioritizing the safety of our workforce and the integrity of the food supply, which is a critical infrastructure industry for us all. Finally, we thank our partners in our local community, including Greeley Mayor John Gates and the Weld County Commissioners for their unwavering commitment and partnership in keeping our communities safe as we face this challenge together.”
To date, the company has implemented numerous measures to keep its team members safe, including:
- Increasing sanitation and disinfection efforts, including whole facility deep-cleaning every day
- Promoting physical distancing by staggering starts, shifts and breaks, and increasing spacing in cafeterias, break and locker rooms, including plexiglass dividers in key areas
- Significantly increasing the number of dedicated staff to continuously clean facilities
- Temperature testing all team members prior to entering our facilities, including the use of hands-free thermometers and thermal imaging testing technology
- Providing extra personal protective equipment (PPE), including protective masks
- Removing vulnerable populations from our facilities, offering full pay and benefits
- Requiring sick team members to stay home from work
- Waiving short-term disability waiting periods
- Relaxing attendance policies so people don’t come to work sick
- Providing free 100% preventative care to all team members
- Offering free LiveHealth Online services that allow for virtual doctor visits at no cost
JBS USA extends its heartfelt sympathy to all of those affected by COVID-19 and salutes the health care professionals who are tirelessly working to protect us all. The company also thanks everyone who is helping to keep food on tables, including producers, growers, retailers, restaurants, government inspectors, transporters and the entire food supply chain.
About JBS USA
JBS USA is a leading global food company providing diversified, high-quality food products for sale to customers in approximately 100 countries on six continents. This includes meat and poultry products, a portfolio of recognized brands and innovative premium foods.