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LOGANSPORT, Ind. — Nearly 200 employees at the Tyson Foods plant in Logansport have tested positive for COVID-19. Now every employee will be tested for the disease.

Overnight, the Cass County Health Department saw a major jump in Tyson employees testing positive. Tests for 184 employees have come back positive as of Thursday morning. That’s 38 more cases than health officials knew about Wednesday night. The employee positives account for over half of the total positives in the county.

“So far we’ve tested well over one thousand people,” Cass County Health Department Administrator Serenity Alter said. “That’s our county as well as the surrounding counties. Out of that we have 275 that have tested positive. Now, that’s a few out of- mostly in county, but there’s some from the surrounding counties as well.”

The health department expects to see a lot more employees from the Tyson plant testing positive in the coming days. Every employee is being tested before the plant shuts down on Saturday.

“Unfortunately it happened,” Logansport Mayor Chris Martin said. “So now we just have to take those next steps to make sure we’re taking those next steps properly.”

“I’ve noticed, you know, from the testing center that there is a lot of employees – you can hear them,” Cass County Commissioner Ryan Browning said. “They’re coughing. They do seem to have some symptoms going on. They’re getting them through, getting them tested.”

The health department started to worry when positive cases tied to Tyson continued to come through their testing centers. Despite the concern, the plant remained open. That led the health department to launch an investigation and they found Tyson was the source of even more cases.

“We did a contact investigation,” Alter said. “And with the contact investigation, a lot of the other ones were related to Tyson as well. So a lot of the other members minus the 184 can be traced back to Tyson as well. That was very disturbing to us and it was something that we needed to start working on.”

It’s disturbing because Tyson employs thousands of people and is the biggest source of jobs in the area. That means many people in the county most likely come into contact with a Tyson employee on a regular basis.

“It’s alarming,” Browning said. “We went for a long time before we didn’t get any cases and then once we got them, they started jumping up fast. This is the largest employer and they’re in close quarters. They did try and put some measures in to help the spread but it’s got into the workforce.”

The health department expects to have test results back in a couple of days, but it may take longer. Once positive employees are identified, the hope is that the plant can work on safely reopening as quickly as possible.