Health official: 44% of Seneca plant's COVID-19 tests in Cumberland, Wis. return positive

Barron County health officials say 44 percent of those tested at a Seneca Foods plant in Cumberland, Wisconsin tested positive for COVID-19.

The tests were administered by the Wisconsin National Guard July 27 after a cluster of COVID-19 cases were reported at the Seneca packing plant earlier in the month.

The Cumberland plant is not the only Seneca Foods facility currently dealing with a COVID-19 outbreak.

Wednesday, the FOX 9 Investigators learned there were 33 confirmed cases among Seneca workers in Glencoe, Minnesota, with another 12 cases suspected. At the Glencoe plant, many of the seasonal workers live in dormitories next to the plant.

Those who have tested positive at the Minnesota plant are being kept in quarantine either in the dormitories or at area motels. The Minnesota Department of Labor is investigating the practices at that facility.

The Department of Health believes the Glencoe outbreak is due, in part, to seasonal workers from Brownsville, Texas who brought the virus with them. The city of Brownsville announced last month it was experiencing a Red Level 4 event on the COVID-19 Threat Matrix, which means spread of the virus is severe and uncontrolled.

Additionally, health officials said Seneca tested as many as 200 workers when they arrived at the Minnesota facilities in late July, but those results were delayed by more than 10 days and are just now beginning to trickle in.

A health care worker provided the FOX 9 Investigators with an email that showed testing facilities in McLeod County had 40 positive COVID-19 tests in all of July, but just eleven days into August there were 69 positive tests.