Meat+Poultry - July 2020 - 22

C O V I D - 1 9 U P D AT E

were 17 new cases of COVID-19 discovered,
or 5% of total tests - all asymptomatic cases.
With these new results, Salm Partners had
35 partners test positive out of its 600 total
employees (including temporary workers).
The company now tests every two weeks,
all with the goal of identification and isolation
of positive cases.
"We also wanted to make the employees
feel like they were safer at work," Salm said.
"There was a mantra in the state of Wisconsin
- 'safer at home.' But the meat industry plays
a critical role in the supply chain, so people
couldn't necessarily stay at home in order
to stay safe - and yet people kept being told
you're 'safer at home.' So, it was up to us to
make it so they were 'safer at work' - and we
felt the way to confidently do that was through
our preventive procedures, and testing."
CoVigilance helps
processing plants design
testing procedures that
make sense for the
specific company.

22

folks and isolate them, you were never going
to be able to control spread in your workforce.
Waiting for symptoms wasn't going to work;
you had to proactively test."
Salm immediately started developing a plan
to test all the employees at Salm Partners. On
April 24, the company set up voluntary testing
for all employees at its Denmark location.
"This is the right thing to do for our
partners," Lindsey said at the time of the
testing. "Some individuals may not realize they
are carrying COVID-19 because they don't
show any symptoms, so we feel this is the right
move to protect the health of our partners,
their families, and the nation's food supply.
"We are an essential industry and we need
to keep our workforce healthy to continue
producing products to feed the nation. Our
primary mission is to create a safe environment
for our partners," he said.
The company brought on a medical director,
sourced the testing kits and arranged with one
of the leading diagnostic laboratories in the
country to test the kits. Under Salm's guidance,
the company built mobile sampling stations -
converting trailers into sampling stations where
the individuals administering the tests stayed in
the trailers and those being tested would walk
up to a closed window to receive the test (this
method reduced the need for PPE, at a time
when it was very hard to obtain).
On April 29, the company released results
from its days of testing. Out of 346 tests, there

MEAT+ POULTRY | 07.20 | www.meatpoultry.com

WORD OF MOUTH
As soon as Salm Partners started developing
and implementing its testing program, word got
out. Companies were calling to find out what
Salm Partners was doing and if they could
provide advice and assistance.
Another light bulb went off in Salm's head.
Why not share their knowledge and expertise
with other companies who are also struggling
to stay ahead of the coronavirus pandemic?
"There were other solutions out there,
but most weren't compatible with how plants
operate - or they were just too expensive and
they were untenable for the meat industry,"
Salm said. "It became clear that we could
probably start a business around this and
tailor it to businesses similar to ours. We
could focus on the food industry, focus on the
meat industry, and do whatever we could to
help them through this challenge that we're
all facing."
It was at that time that CoVigilance was
created. The company is led by Salm as chief
executive officer, alongside his father Chris
Salm as chief business development officer,
Aloys Tauscheck, PhD, as medical director and
Jeff Grider as chief operations officer.
CoVigilance was formed to "coordinate
high-volume COVID-19 testing solutions."
In addition, the company offers analysis
and assistance in integrating test results
into "an effective, data-driven workforce
management plan."


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Meat+Poultry - July 2020

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Meat+Poultry - July 2020

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