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Fort Smith/Fayetteville News | 5newsonline KFSM 5NEWS | Get the local news and weather where you live from 5NEWS. Covering Fort Smith, Fayetteville, Bentonville, and all of Northwest Arkansas and the River Valley.

9,000 employees sick as COVID overwhelms Arkansas workplaces

State health records show some nine thousand Arkansas workers tested positive for COVID.
Credit: AP
In this image from the Howard Center for Investigative Journalism at the University of Maryland's Philip Merrill College of Journalism, a Tyson employee walks into the team member entrance at the Berry Street location in Springdale, Ark., on April 20, 2021. A sign in their path reads "Social Distancing Required at all Times" written in English, Spanish and Marshallese. (Mary Hennigan/University of Arkansas via AP)

SPRINGDALE, Ark. — A new analysis of COVID-19 cases at workplaces in Arkansas is highlighting Tyson Foods Inc. as a significant source of outbreaks over the past year.  

The website Arkansascovid.com and the Howard Center for Investigative Journalism find Tyson accounted for one-third of reported COVID cases in Arkansas workplaces from May 2020 through April 2021. 

State health records show some nine thousand Arkansas workers tested positive for COVID. 

It’s unclear where workers got the virus, yet several say they weren’t told about sick coworkers. 

Few Arkansas workers complained to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration.  

Just eight of 106 COVID complaints to OSHA involved Arkansas poultry factories. 

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