National Guard to test Pilgrim's Pride employees

MOOREFIELD, W.Va. — Eighteen Pilgrim's Pride workers have tested positive for COVID-19 after testing this week by the West Virginia National Guard, Hardy County authorities said Friday.

Gov. Jim Justice said May 8 the Guard would test all employees at the chicken processing plant after a rapid escalation of cases in the county. As of Friday morning, the county reported 27 cases.

Officials said 520 employees were tested.

At a community drive-thru testing site, there were two positive cases out of 168 tests conducted, said David Maher, public information officer for the Hardy County Sheriff's Office.

All individuals that tested positive have been notified of the results and were quarantining, Maher said. Those that have not received results tested negative.

"This COVID-19 battle is a fight that we can win if we continue to be cautious, take protective measures, and follow the guidance of wearing personal protective equipment, hand-washing, and social distancing until cases go down in our area," Maher said. "Our hospitals and medical system need our help to keep the case count as low as possible."

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