Former JBS employee speaks out after father contracts COVID-19

JBS former employee speaks out regarding COVID-19

AMARILLO, Texas (KFDA) - Two weeks ago, the JBS meat processing plant in Cactus told NewsChannel 10 they were doing everything they could to help slow the spread of COVID-19.

Today after cases and deaths continue to rise in Moore County, a former employee who has family still working at the plant tells us she believes JBS did not take precautions against COVID-19 soon enough.

Maricella told NewsChannel 10, up until a few months ago she was an employee at JBS but recently quit after feeling it was unsafe.

“It’s real crowded over there. I mean, there’s no way they were precautious about this. I have, like, a lot of people that have died from there already. I already know four people that have died from there, working there,” said Maricella, former JBS employee.

Maricella says her dad has worked for the company for 25 years now and has been fighting for his life against COVID-19 for the last three weeks.

“Just to see him laying there with tubes in his mouth, not even to talk to you, not even to see his eyes, that’s the worst feeling ever. That’s the worst feeling ever,” said Maricella.

While it is unknown where her father contracted COVID-19, his daughter claims JBS did not act fast enough when it came to implementing safety protocols.

“There’s too many people to do socially distancing. I’m sorry, it really is. I mean, the lanes are little when you walk through. Eventually someone’s going to get hurt or something is going to pass through there," said Maricella.

In an interview with JBS a two weeks ago, they told us how they had prepared for the virus and for how long.

“We have been planning and preparing our facilities for the coronavirus for, really, several months now,” said Tim Schellpeper, president of Fed Beef JBS.

JBS says, since April 7, every employee has been provided masks they are required to wear.

The plant also says social distancing rules have been in place since late March, and plexiglass shields were installed in early April in places where social distancing is difficult.

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