ST. JOSEPH, MO (KCTV) – According to the Missouri Department of Health & Senior Services, at least 126 employees at Triumph Foods in St. Joseph have now tested positive for COVID-19.

The DHSS said that samples from 707 employees were collected on Monday and 92 of them tested positive. An additional 34 employees who were tested before Monday had their results come back positive, too. That leads to a total of 126 employees having the virus.

Another 1,500 employees had samples collected on Tuesday and Wednesday, but their results are pending.

Those who have tested positive are being told to isolate and their close contacts will be contacted by the public health professionals. Meanwhile, Triumph Foods will be in contact with those who have tested negative. Everyone will be notified either way by Saturday.

The DHSS noted that the positive results are applied to the per-county totals, not where the employer is. Therefore, not all 126 of these cases will be counted in Buchanan County’s total as not all the Triumph Foods employees live in the county.

Missouri is sending staff to assist with contact tracing efforts. More testing is to be expected as the close contacts of the COVID-19 patients are notified.

“Our mission remains to protect health and keep Missourians safe,” said Dr. Randall Williams, director of DHSS. “We appreciate the willingness from employees of Triumph Foods to be tested and the collaboration with local health care providers to help prevent further spread of COVID-19 in this community. Partnering with providers and local health departments to test people, both symptomatic and asymptomatic, is part of our ‘box-in’ strategy with this virus moving forward.”

“It is very important that patients with positive results follow the isolation guidance they are given,” said Williams. “Those with pending or negative results may continue to work while maintaining infection control measures we have recommended both at work and at home.”

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