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Meat Giant Tyson Girds for Virus Surge, Tracking Covid-19 with Algorithms


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A Tyson meat-processing facility.

Tyson Foods Inc. is using infection-tracking algorithms and ongoing employee testing to shield workers from a fresh surge in coronavirus cases and keep grocery stores stocked.

Credit: Charlie Neibergall/Associated Press

Tyson Foods CEO Dean Banks said the U.S. meatpacking company is using infection-tracking algorithms and employee testing to protect workers from a new Covid-19 surge.

He said Tyson's Springdale, AR, headquarters uses a company-developed Web dashboard to monitor internal-testing results.

In July, Tyson launched a "surveillance testing" program that tests a number of employees at each processing plant every week; to date, more than half of its roughly 141,000 employees have been tested.

Banks said the algorithmic system compares positive tests with where employees work in the plants and with publicly reported infection rates in localities around its facilities.

Said Banks, "We can dial up the algorithm when we sense there's something going on in the community, and we're much more prepared for a second wave."

From The Wall Street Journal
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