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Local businesses and healthcare providers to create targeted testing program for a community-wide response to COVID-19

Mower County Public Health, Mayo Clinic Health System, Hormel Foods and Quality Pork Processors (QPP) have joined forces to create a targeted testing program as part of a multi-phase approach for a community-wide response to COVID-19. The Community Health First plan is the latest addition to continuing efforts for slowing the spread of COVID-19 in the area. Dr. Mark Ciota, CEO of Mayo Clinic Health System in Austin and Albert Lea stated during a news conference Thursday that Mayo will be bringing its testing expertise to the partnership to help understand how the virus is spreading in Mower County…

Clint Walters, Plant Manager at Hormel Foods in Austin stated that the company is proud to be part of an effort to reduce the spread of COVID-19…

Nate Jansen, President of Quality Pork Processors and Albert Lea Select Foods thanked Mower County Health and Human Services and Mayo Clinic Health Systems for what has been accomplished thus far in terms of testing for and preventing the spread of the coronavirus, and he went on to talk about the methods that have been and are still being implemented to fight the spread of the virus in the two facilities…

Walters stated that approximately half of the 1,850 employees at the Hormel plant have been tested and that there have been 80 positive cases with 19 having recovered, leaving 61 active, though he added the company is expecting that number to drop to 40 Monday after those employees return to work after being quarantined for 14 days.  The plan includes a voluntary testing program with team members of Hormel Foods, QPP and Albert Lea Select Foods and their family members. Community testing will also continue to be available through Mayo Clinic Health System.  Officials expect the effort to remain in place for as long as needed.


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