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7 Corpus Christi beef plant workers test positive for coronavirus

A customer selects a package of ground sirloin at Westborn Market in Berkley, Mich., Wednesday, April 29, 2020. President Donald Trump has ordered meat processing plants to stay open amid concerns over growing coronavirus COVID-19 cases and the impact on the nation's food supply. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya)
A customer selects a package of ground sirloin at Westborn Market in Berkley, Mich., Wednesday, April 29, 2020. President Donald Trump has ordered meat processing plants to stay open amid concerns over growing coronavirus COVID-19 cases and the impact on the nation's food supply. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya) (Copyright 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved)

A seventh employee of the STX Beef Company plant in Corpus Christi tested positive for COVID-19 today, according to the Corpus Christi Caller-Times.

Seven employees have tested positive, and three have been hospitalized. County Health Director Annette Rodriguez told the Caller-Times that the county had contacted the state about mass testing at the plant.

Gov. Greg Abbott this week said he's sending a "surge team" to look at an outbreak of coronavirus rates around Texas meatpacking plants in the Panhandle.

Such hot spots have continued to grow as the state has moved forward with relaxing shutdown orders across the state.

The Panhandle, where a workforce of Hispanics and immigrants power several meatpacking plants, is now home to the highest rates of infection in the state.

The spread of infections in some communities underscores the dangers faced by those working in meatpacking plants who have little power to avoid the virus. — Sam Manas