RANTOUL, Ill. (WAND) - Rantoul Foods said they had 87 of their employees test positive for COVID-19, since tests were administered on May 9.
On Wednesday, the company was told that three additional positive COVID-19 tests were Rantoul Food employees. Health officials say the delay in notification was due to discrepancies in contact information provided to the health department and the information Rantoul Foods has on record.
Due to those individuals receiving positive results, those employees will be under quarantine per the Centers for Disease Control guidelines.
One additional positive case was confirmed on Wednesday. The employee self quarantined on May 3. The employee began to have symptoms on May 16 and was tested on May 17. Since his last day the Rantoul Food was May 2, the health department believes it is unlikely the employee contracted COVID-19 at work since his symptoms started two weeks after being at work. This employee will also follow quarantine guidelines until it is safe to return to work.
Since the outbreak the plant has been operating at less than 50 percent of their normal capacity. The company said they have been increasing production in small increments to make sure health and safety is a priority.
The company also received a donation of face shields for employees from John Deere. The shield will be used in addition to face masks.
Rantoul Foods said, an environmental virus survey, conducted as a joint effort by several different disciplines within the University of Illinois (Virology, Civil Engineering, and Veterinary Medicine) will begin next week. The survey will evaluate ventilation in work areas to help minimize workers’ potential airborne exposure and SafeWorks Illinois will give insight into what, if any, additional precautions will need to be implemented to ensure employee safety.