There are 50 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the Lufkin Pilgrim’s Pride plant, Angelina County & Cities Health District administrator Sharon Shaw confirmed Friday.

Angelina County currently has 107 positive cases with 19 recoveries, one death and two hospitalizations.

“A lot of meat-packing processing plants across the nation are having issues with COVID-19,” city manager Keith Wright said. “A part of the problem is the environment, the cool air and the spread of the virus in close proximity. We’re not the only ones experiencing it; it’s the same thing at Tyson in Center.”

Wright said the company is doing what it can to minimize the spread of the virus.

The Lufkin Daily News reached out to the company on Friday afternoon after the city of Lufkin confirmed the death of one of their employees who tested positive for the coronavirus.

"We are deeply saddened by the loss of our longtime and faithful team member," said Nikki Richardson, corporate communications spokeswoman for Pilgrim's and JBS USA. "We have been and will continue offering support to the family during this time, and we share their anguish. Our sympathies go out to everyone who has been impacted by this common enemy we all face.

"We will not operate a facility if we do not believe it is safe, and we are doing all we can to prevent this virus from entering our facility. The health and safety of our team members providing food for us all during this unprecedented time remains our highest priority."

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