In response, the company immediately implemented its COVID-19 response plan and identified employees who could be at risk for catching the virus based on Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines and information from the Brown County Health Department. The identified workers were sent home on paid leave to self-quarantine. A thorough cleaning of the affected area and shared spaces also was conducted.
“Like health care and pharmaceutical providers, the food supply is critical to ensure the wellbeing of residents of the United States, and the federal government and the State of Wisconsin have encouraged food companies to continue operating,” Keith Lindsey, president and CEO of Salm Partners, said in a letter released to the media. “We take this responsibility very seriously. There are no known indications that COVID-19 can be transmitted through food. Our first, and most important, priority is the health and wellbeing of our partners.”
Salm implemented temperature checks for everyone entering the facility, required face masks or shields for everyone onsite, educated the workforce on the CDC’s guidelines to reduce transmission, and reconfigured workspaces to increase social distancing.
Before the employee was diagnosed with COVID-19, Salm already had programs in place to reward its employees for their efforts during the pandemic, including a $200 per month bonus and $3 per hour premium. Lindsey said the programs are not tied to attendance, so there is not an incentive for employees to work if they are not feeling well. In addition, each employee receives 80 hours of extra paid time off.