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Coronavirus outbreak at large Meijer distribution center in Delta Twp

Posted at 7:22 PM, May 13, 2020
and last updated 2020-05-14 05:50:38-04

DELTA TOWNSHIP, Mich. — More and more cases of the coronavirus are being linked to a Meijer distribution center in Delta Township.

At least 14 coronavirus cases in Eaton County and 46 in Ingham County have been traced back to the facility. Of the 46 Ingham County residents, 30 are Meijer employees and 16 are household contacts. Half of the 14 cases in Eaton County have not yet recovered, according to health officials.

The Barry-Eaton County Health Department says the virus has infected people in multiple buildings at the center stretching down multiple blocks on Creyts Road.

Ingham County Health Officer Linda Vail says not to worry about the distribution center outbreak when you're grocery shopping at your local Meijer store though.

"No, no. Not all," Vail says. "It's a warehouse of sorts. So the direct contact with anything that would literally be food is probably minimal at best."

This isn't the first warehouse-type environment that's had a cluster in the Mid-Michigan area recently. In fact, Vail believes the outbreak at Meijer's distribution center is most likely connected to an outbreak first reported last week at Herbruck's Poultry Ranch in Ionia County.

"If you look at a number of the folks that are infected at the Meijer warehouse, as well as Herbruck's, a number of them live in that 48911 zip code and are refugees," Vail says. "So some of our population we've been talking to in 48911 are connected to both of those outbreaks."

Both Herbruck's and the Meijer distribution center remain open, as they work with local health departments to monitor the cases.

Vail says she's confident the food supply won't have the virus.

"We're talking about cardboard boxes and things like that and survival of the virus on those kinds of surfaces is fairly limited."

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