Kings County COVID-19 Spike Is Due To Meat Packing Facility in Hanford

May 6, 2020

 

Rural Kings County has seen a large spike in COVID-19 cases over the last two weeks. The majority of those cases can be traced back to the Central Valley Meat Company in Hanford.

As of Wednesday, Kings County reported 211 cases of the coronavirus; 138 of them are connected to the meat packing facility, which is still operating.  County Supervisor Doug Verboon says he’s not surprised by the spike.   

It got into the facility, said Verboon. “Someone got the virus and took it into the workplace and it spread pretty fast there.”

Verboon says the company initially resisted the county coming in to test workers, and it’s still only testing employees with symptoms. 

But for other workers who want to get tested, the county now has a facility that can test over 200 people a day. 

“We have our testing facility ready to go,” Verboon said. “Plus we have private care facilities that are testing as well so anybody that wants to be tested in the next couple days should be able to.”

The county originally planned to test first responders first in accordance with Phase 2 of Governor Gavin Newsom’s reopening guidelines. But Verboon says it will now shift its focus to testing all meat packing workers and their families.