By SCOTT BAUER and TODD RICHMOND
MADISON, Wis. (AP) — Health officials tied nearly 150 coronavirus cases to a Green Bay meatpacking plant on Wednesday, while the number of people who may have contracted the virus after going to the polls on April 7 also grew.
Meanwhile, organizers of a rally against Wisconsin’s extended stay-at-home order said they would proceed with the event on Friday even though a permit to hold it on the grounds of the Capitol has been denied.
To date, 246 people in Wisconsin have died from the virus and more than 4,800 have tested positive.
The Brown County Health Department said 147 employees and family members of workers at JBS Packerland meatpacking plant in Green Bay have tested positive for COVID-19. There were also 39 cases tied to American Foods Group in Green Bay and another 19 to sausage maker Salm Partners in Denmark, about 20 miles away.
All of the Green Bay-area facilities remain open, even though meatpacking plants experiencing outbreaks in other states have closed down.
The state health department said that of all the people in Wisconsin confirmed with the coronavirus since the April 7 election, 19 say they either voted in person or were at the polls on election day. It was too soon to say whether they contracted it while at the polls, and the department did not say where these infections occurred.
Five Wisconsin National Guard members who were at the polls displayed symptoms consistent with the virus, but only one was tested and that came back negative, said Maj. Gen. Paul Knapp. Doctors would not give the other four tests, he said.