In her report at the Tuesday evening Denison City Council meeting, Mayor Pam Soseman said she reached out to Smithfield Foods a month ago and received a response from the company’s corporate headquarters in Virginia about what the company was doing about the COVID-19 virus.

“Last week I reached out to State Representative Steve Holt when I heard of the rapid testing that was being offered. After further research he informed us that our plants here in town have the ability to request rapid testing,” Soseman said.

An email has been sent to the human resources personnel at the local processing plants, she said.

“One of those plants has responded,” Soseman said. “To the other plant I am requesting that you request rapid testing for the safety of your employees.”

Soseman also noted the “Test Iowa” program launched by Gov. Kim Reynolds on Tuesday.

“Every individual in the state of Iowa can go online and do a one-minute assessment and through this assessment they will identify hot spots,” Soseman said. “I’ve also sent that out to both Quality and Smithfield asking them to release this information to their plants.”

Soseman also made a request for community members to wear masks while in public.

“I am requesting for those working in retail to wear masks,” she said. “I am asking for those who walk into the stores to wear masks. The requirements were put out by the CDC.”

According to the CDC website, “In light of new data about how COVID-19 spreads, along with evidence of widespread COVID-19 illness in communities across the country, CDC recommends that people wear a cloth face covering to cover their nose and mouth in the community setting. This is to protect people around you if you are infected but do not have symptoms.”

Soseman noted that not very many people are wearing masks.

“If you do not have a mask, wear a bandana,” she said. “You’re helping to protect others by doing this.”

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