Group protests outside Morganton chicken plant amid COVID-19 outbreak

MORGANTON, N.C. — There was a protest outside a Morganton chicken plant amid an outbreak, which means there are at least two people who have tested positive for coronavirus.

Case Farms has had at least two people test positive. Earlier this month, workers told Channel 9 the company was taking extra precautions.

Monday morning, members of Asheville Animal Save gathered outside the facility to demand better work conditions for employees and ask Case Farms for transition to non-meat products.

The North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services has not said the exact number of cases at the chicken processing plant, but said last month, at least two cases qualify as an outbreak.

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Workers said there are precautions in place including mask and face shields, but they are still concerned for their safety. Right now, there are outbreaks at 26 meat processing plants in North Carolina, invoking more than 2,000 workers.

The protesters believe more can be done to help the workers and the animals at the facility.

“We’re in solidarity with the workers who have to put themselves in these intense conditions and have to decide if they want to get sick or if they want to pay for their bills,” Trentin Morrow from Asheville Animal Save said.

Channel 9′s Dave Faherty spoke to several workers who said Case Farms plans to do widespread testing starting Tuesday.

Another outbreak was at the Tyson plant in Wilkesboro, North Carolina.

More than 500 workers tested positive for coronavirus and the plant closed temporarily over the last month.