ISE America, which operates an egg facility in Millington, MD, has confirmed that some workers there have tested positive for COVID-19.
Kent County Health Officer William Webb reported five cases to the Kent County Commissioners on Tuesday but did not name the company, which is one of the top 20 producers of eggs in the US with over 6 million layers.
Webb said the outbreak started on April 22 and there have so far been five positive cases of the virus. One test is still awaiting results.
Additional tests are pending, he said.
He told the commissioners that contact tracing the workers has been difficult because of “a language barrier and a cultural barrier that we’re working to overcome.”
He said the outbreak in Millington “may” be related to outbreaks in counties south of Kent.
“At this point there are hundreds of cases related to the poultry processing business,” Webb said. “This particular outbreak in the poultry business has received the highest priority from the state and from federal resources — and from local health departments.”
He said there was a task force in place at the “state’s emergency operations center specifically focused on this industry and this outbreak.”
Barry Griffen, the site manager for ISE America in Millington released the following statement at 10 a.m. today:
“As soon as we received the first positive test, we have been working closely with the Kent County Health Department to ensure that our employee protection adheres to and exceeds the state mandates regarding this outbreak. They have inspected our facility and we are in daily contact with them regarding the state of our workforce and cooperating with their efforts to track the virus and provide testing as necessary.”
According to their website, ISE’s distribution area includes:
Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York Metro, North Carolina, Ohio, Philadelphia, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia and Washington D.C.