Skip to main content

Coronavirus: Cases at Worthington pork plant continue to rise

Nobles County is becoming one of the Minnesota's major hotspots.
JBS Pork

The number of positive COVID-19 cases continues to rise in Nobles County, where health officials are dealing with an outbreak at a Worthington pork plant.

As of 4 p.m. Friday, there had been 36 confirmed cases of coronavirus in the southwestern Minnesota county, with this information made public on Saturday morning.

And late Saturday, the Minnesota Department of Health confirmed to BMTN it's now received 20 confirmed positive cases from employees at the JBS USA plant.

The latest COVID-19 numbers for Nobles County will be updated at 11 a.m. Sunday, and the MDH says that while some of the 20 cases have already been included in the figures, others will be added in today's count.

It means that Nobles County is fast becoming the most serious hotspot in Minnesota. The rise in confirmed cases this week now puts it second in the state on cases per capita behind Martin County, which had one of the state's earliest outbreaks.

Here's MPR News reporter David Montgomery's chart:

The JBS USA plant is continuing its operations despite the outbreak, with Gov. Tim Walz saying Friday that an MDH team has been deployed to the plant, which employs roughly 2,000 workers and is the state's largest pork production facility.

Walz said it's possible that the virus was quickly spread because there is an overlap in employees and families at both the JBS plant and the Smithfield Foods plant, about 60 miles away in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, where there has been a major cluster outbreak and has since shut down.

Sign up for our BREAKING NEWS newsletters

Next Up

minneapolis police

Man fatally shot overnight in north Minneapolis

The shooting was reported around 2:20 a.m.

Screen Shot 2022-05-22 at 8.30.08 AM

Campsites closed at Voyageurs National Park due to 'historic' water levels

All backcountry trails and campsites are closed, as well as many frontcountry sites.

state capitol Minnesota

Lawmakers reach agreement on tax cuts ahead of session's end

Lawmakers announced they had reached a deal on a tax bill Saturday ahead of the looming session deadline.

281699116_10226502238438986_800951410789352812_n

Victims of daytime drive-by shooting in Robbinsdale identified

The two men died after a hail of bullets struck a vehicle.

Screen Shot 2022-05-22 at 8.14.37 AM

Source of 'loud explosion' in Brooklyn Park a mystery

The noise was investigated by police, but no source could be determined.

covid, vaccine, booster shots

COVID: All Americans over 50 advised to get a second booster

Cases, hospitalizations and deaths are on the rise again as new COVID variants emerge.

J.W. Peck (left) and Eric Galler.

2 Minnesotans inducted into White Castle's Hall of Fame

White Castle — it's what a man in Minneapolis and another in Woodbury, crave.

Screen Shot 2022-05-21 at 5.46.37 PM

Video shows officers ended pursuit before fatal crash in Anoka

The crash occurred when the driver fled police during an attempted traffic stop in Coon Rapids.

Eli Hart

6-year-old Eli Hart identified as boy found dead in car trunk

The kindergartner's father was trying to get full custody of his son.

IMG_3509

Boy found dead in trunk of car in Mound was kindergartner

"It is horrifying and difficult to process a tragedy of this magnitude, especially in our close-knit community," the superintendent wrote.

Minneapolis police

Man found yelling for help after being shot in Minneapolis

The shooting occurred on the 800 block of Elwood Avenue North at around 9:15 p.m.

Screen Shot 2022-05-21 at 9.56.21 AM

Minneapolis North principal says she was fired, district says otherwise

“MPS requires schools to follow protocols in times like that and I did not,” Friestleben said.

Related

JBS Pork

JBS pork plant in Worthington set to partially re-open this week

The plant has been shut down since a major coronavirus outbreak.

JBS Pork

JBS USA announces closure of coronavirus-hit Worthington plant

The pork processing plant has seen a growing number of cases.

JBS Pork

Coronavirus outbreak at MN meat plant; spread possible from Smithfield Foods

The Worthington area has at least 30 cases, according to health officials.

Governor Tim Walz

Amid more reported outbreaks at MN meat plants, Walz heads to Worthington

Walz is visiting the home of the shuttered JBS USA pork plant, where there has been a major COVID-19 outbreak.

coronavirus, covid-19, doctor

Coronavirus: One more death in Minnesota, cases rise to 985

The total number of cases is higher due to a lack of testing.

coronavirus, covid-2, doctor, masks

Coronavirus: One more death in Minnesota, cases rise to 742

The numbers are up to date as of 8 p.m. Apr. 1, but the total number of cases is likely much higher.

JBS Pork

Union representing Worthington pork plant workers calls for renewed hazard pay

United Food and Commercial Workers Local Local 663 penned a public letter to JBS Thursday.

Screen Shot 2020-04-21 at 5.51.17 PM

Coronavirus cases confirmed at Jennie-O plant in Willmar

Jennie-O has confirmed the cases at the turkey plant in central Minnesota.