OSHA: 3 COVID-19 complaints about Santa Teresa meatpacking plant before infections

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EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) – The Stampede Meat plant in Santa Teresa had three OSHA complaints filed against it prior to five employees testing positive for COVID-19, records show.

The complaints were made against the meatpacking plant in Santa Teresa on March 20, April 20 and April 30, according to a the New Mexico Environmental Department’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration map.

The first of the three complaints alleged that hundreds of employees were working within two feet of each other and were standing shoulder to shoulder in the lunchroom for meetings. This was in contrast to orders from New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham’s office.

The complaint was cleared by OSHA, according to public documents, after the plant said it would look into the complaints and filed their steps to prevent COVID-19 among the employees.

The second complaint is also closed, but no documents were immediately available. The third complaint is still open.

The department on May 5 said five workers at Stampede Meat Inc. in Sunland Park, N.M., had the coronavirus but that operations would continue at the facility with no additional requirements. 

The company told Border Report it has been cooperating with the Health Department in availing all of its employees for testing, facilitating contact-tracing and requiring workers who may have had contact with the infected to self-quarantine for 14 days.

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