Feds Agree to Help with COVID-19 Outbreak Tied to Texas County Pork Processing Plant

May 14, 2020

Credit Seaboard Foods

State officials asked for federal help as they deal with a COVID-19 outbreak in Texas County, which has a population of less than 20,000.

Oklahoma Air National Guard State Air Surgeon Col. Lance Frye said on Thursday the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention responded and will process up to 3,000 additional tests for the area if needed.

Seaboard Foods has worked with state and private labs to have 2,000 of its 2,700 workers at a Guymon pork processing facility tested so far this week, and the state has sent supplies to the Texas County Health Department and local health care providers so people who don’t work there can also get tested.

Frye said the increase in testing will mean a spike in cases.

"For example, today, roughly 60% of the state’s reported positive cases were in Texas County – 67 positives out of the [110] positives today," Frye said.

A telemedicine unit has been brought in under the state's hospital surge plan to connect local doctors with OSU medical experts like intensive medicine specialists, pulmonologists and cardiologists.

"This expands the knowledge base for patient treatment without the need for transportation to more urban areas," Frye said.

Texas County now has 541 cases, third most in Oklahoma.