According to a report from KWCH, Harvey County in Kansas has identified AGCO's Hesston plant as a "COVID-19 cluster" for the second time since the pandemic began. The facility recently reported 14 employees had tested positive for COVID-19, who the county said were isolating in their homes. The county also stated that "AGCO does on-site antigen testing of employees when needed for contact tracing and reducing asymptomatic spread."
The Hesston plant was also labeled as a COVID-19 cluster in October 2020, when 23 cases were confirmed, according to a separate report from KWCH. The plant was reportedly shutdown after its first case.
In February, it was reported AGCO had slowed operations at its Hesston plant due to "rising natural gas prices in the area." It was reported that the plant currently employs around 1,000 workers.
A separate report from The Kansan on March 9, 2021, stated the total number of reported infections had reached 17 and included employees from 5 different counties. It was reported that "the cluster will be considered active until there are 28 consecutive days – two incubation periods – without positive cases." It was also reported that AGCO had sent a letter to Hesston employees on March 9 notifying them they are eligible to receive the COVID-19 vaccine.
"The employees that have tested positive have mild or no symptoms at this time, and we wish them good health as they recover and complete their isolation,” says Seth Beytien, AGCO Hesston site leader.