Megan Banta, Lansing State Journal
Published 5:29 p.m. ET May 12, 2020 | Updated 11:01 p.m. ET May 12, 2020
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DELTA TWP. – A COVID-19 outbreak at various buildings in the Meijer Distribution Center complex in Delta Township is linked to 62 cases in four counties.
The distribution center remains open while the Barry-Eaton District Health Department investigates the outbreak, health department spokeswoman Anne Barna said late Tuesday afternoon.
Cases are spread across different buildings throughout the complex, Barna said.
So far, Ingham County is the most heavily impacted, with Health Officer Linda Vail reporting 46 county residents have tested positive in connection with the outbreak.
Of those residents, Vail said during a Tuesday afternoon press briefing, 30 are employees and 16 are household contacts.
Fourteen residents in Eaton County have tested positive for the new coronavirus in connection with the warehouse outbreak, Barna said.
She said there are two additional cases — one in Clinton County and one in Jackson County.
As far as Barna is aware, no work sites are closed because of the outbreak.
Meijer spokespeople were not immediately available to comment.
Around three dozen more area residents have been impacted by a separate work site outbreak at Herbruck’s Poultry Ranch in Ionia County that was made public in late April.
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In the case of both outbreaks, Vail said, there’s an impact on the community’s refugees, some of whom are employed at the distribution center and the chicken farm.
The county has partnered with local organizations like St. Vincent Catholic Charities and the Refugee Development Center to help make sure refugees understand social distancing and what to do when it isn’t an option.
“We’re getting into the communities,” Vail said during the press briefing.
Health department staff has gone door-to-door, she said, and officials have held and will continue to hold testing events.
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Testing in general has expanded greatly since the coronavirus was first documented in Michigan in March, Vail said, and though that’s one reason there are still new positive cases each day, the curve is flattening.
Greater Lansing has a total of 872 COVID-19 cases and 33 deaths linked to the pandemic.
Ingham County reported six new cases on Tuesday for a total of 594, Eaton County reported just one more confirmed case for a total of 152. Clinton County had 126 confirmed cases.
The state’s case total grew by 469 for a total of 48,021. Ninety more deaths were reported Tuesday, although 19 of those were added to the daily total as a result of a review of death certificates.
The state’s death toll stood at 4,674.
Ken Palmer contributed to this report.
Contact reporter Megan Banta at email@example.com. Follow her on Twitter @MeganBanta_1.
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