SALISBURY, MD. (WJZ) — Gov. Larry Hogan addressed poultry plant outbreaks along the Eastern Shore on Wednesday, confirming at least 262 lab-confirmed COVID-19 cases associated with poultry workers in Maryland.

“These outbreaks are not only a serious public health concern, they’re also a potential threat to Maryland’s leading agricultural industry, and to our nation’s essential food supply chain,” Gov. Hogan said.

Recently, there have been outbreaks at Mountaire’s Selbyville processing plant and the Alan Harim plant in Delaware.

“We knew it was going to be an issue not just for our neighbors, but for Maryland as well,” Gov. Hogan said.

The governor said he first raised the issue with Vice President Mike Pence on Friday and dispatched state epidemiologists to the affected areas to focus on testing support, contact tracing, occupational health, communications and outreach.

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To enhance the testing capability, they are opening a testing site at Perdue Stadium in Salisbury specifically to test workers at the Perdue Salisbury and Amick Hurlock processing plants.

Delaware Gov. Carney and Virginia Gov. Northam along with Hogan sent a letter to the Trump administration, requesting federal assistance.

“I want to thank the Trump administration, particularly Vice President Pence and Dr. Robert Redfield for responding swiftly to our request,” Gov Hogan said.

They have deployed a Maryland incident management team to support the multi-agency, multi-state operation on the Delmarva Peninsula.

He said they anticipate a CDC team will be on the ground at the Eastern Shore later Wednesday night to provide assistance, and they have been granted a designated FEMA liaison to help expedite other federal assistance.

“We will continue to keep Wicomico County and Eastern Shore residents informed as this situation continues to develop,” the governor said.

For the latest information on coronavirus go to the Maryland Health Department’s website or call 211. You can find all of WJZ’s coverage on coronavirus in Maryland here.

Rachel Menitoff

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