415 Sanderson Farms employees in Moultrie asked to self-quarantine
Sanderson Farms has asked 415 employees in its processing plant in Moultrie to self-quarantine for 14 days as a precaution against the spread of COVID-19 in the plant.
Sanderson Chairman and CEO Joe Sanderson announced the move during an April 2 conference call, during which he and other company officials addressed the Mississippi-based poultry company’s response to the pandemic and resulting market conditions.
The employees asked to self-quarantine are residents of Dougherty County, which through April 7 had the second-most confirmed cases in Georgia and the most deaths from COVID-19. Those employees would continue being paid, Sanderson said.
“We have no indication these employees aren’t healthy, but have done this as a precaution, and on the advice and counsel of the local health department officials,” Sanderson said on April 2.
The Moultrie plant has approximately 1,500 employees total, including those who were sent home. Sanderson said the plant would hire approximately 200 people during the time the employees who are Dougherty residents are out. Through the end of April, the plant expects to process 1 million birds per week, down from a normal production of 1.3 million birds weekly.
Aside from the step taken to address the Dougherty County situation, Sanderson had 15 employees company wide with confirmed COVID-19 cases at the time of the April 2 conference call, with 36 others awaiting test results. Another 204 employees at that time were under quarantine because they had exhibited symptoms consistent with COVID-19.