LINCOLN, Neb. (KTIV) -- Nebraska Gov. Pete Ricketts said since the COVID-19 pandemic began, over 1,100 people working in meatpacking plants have tested positive.
But when it comes to releasing that information to the actual facilites, he said that is trickier. When a person tests positive, Ricketts said employment information isn't necessary when they are taking the test.
Ultimately the individual would have to notify the company or to their local public health department.
The state only provides aggregate data because people have lied about where they work.
"Now with the guidance, we have issued to local health departments, if they want to do that what they need to do is again, confirm with that person that they work for whatever company they are releasing it for and work with the company to do that, so you can actually have accurate information," said Gov. Ricketts. "But again, because there are the HIPPA laws with regards to when we get somebody testing positive, we contact the public health department, the local health department so they can do contact tracing, part of their contact tracing will be where you have been so we can let those people know. But we don't tell the company that information, so companies don't do it, so we can mandate companies to do it but they don't have that information."
Ricketts said since the epidemic began, three workers from processing plants have died.