Plant shut down following COVID-19 outbreak at local manufacturer

By Harvey County Now Staff
So far, 23 employees have been confirmed to have COVID-19 at AGCO, a large equipment manufacturing plant in Hesston.
The Heatlh Department put out a joint release with the company Thursday afternoon.

The Harvey County Health Department, in conjunction with AGCO Corporation, has confirmed a cluster of COVID-19 cases at Plant 1 of the AGCO facility in Hesston.

“We will continue to follow the guidance of the local health department to prevent the spread of COVID-19 in our community,” stated Seth Beytien, AGCO Hesston site leader. “Our thoughts are with all impacted employees and their families as we hope for a quick recovery.”

The cluster has occurred at AGCO Plant 1. Those sick are isolating at home.
Rapid-result antigen tests will by administered to all remaining Plant 1 employees Friday the release stated
The infection has shut down the plant according to the release.
AGCO suspended operations in Plant 1 at the end of its first shift on Tuesday after being notified that employees had tested positive for COVID-19,” The release stated. “Plant 1 employees were advised to remain home until additional test results are received.

 Glenn Davis, president, USW Local 11228, the union at AGCO stated that the union was working with the company.
“I feel confident that the steps we’re taking are appropriate and are in the best interests of everyone at the Hesston facility.”

The release stated that AGCO has participated in routine daily disinfecting and temperature scanning as well as installed dividers in workplaces and break areas. It also requires  employees to wear face masks in all areas of its facilities at all times.

Businesses have faced many challenges these past several months. They are providing essential goods and critical jobs, all while putting the health of employees first and foremost,” said Harvey County Health Department Director Lynnette Redington. “We appreciate AGCO’s focus on workplace safety by implementing COVID-19 precautions throughout the pandemic.”

The cluster will be considered active until there are 28 consecutive days – two incubation periods – without positive cases.