The JBS meatpacking plant in Greeley has received a $15,615 fine from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) in regards to its handling of COVID-19.

Despite suffering one of the largest coronavirus outbreaks in the state, the company has remained open throughout the pandemic, aside from a brief closure in April. 

As of this month, almost 300 of the facility's employees have contracted the virus, and seven have died from it.

According to The Greeley TribuneOSHA fined JBS the maximum amount allowed by law for violating its "general duty clause," alleging that the company failed to protect its employees from the virus in the workplace.

The publication reports that JBS now has 15 business days to either pay the fine, or dispute it to the Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.

The latter option appears to be more likely, as the corporation called the punishment "entirely without merit" in a statement on Friday (September 11).

The statement accused OSHA of failing to provide adequate COVID-19 guidance until late April, when the company's outbreak was already well underway.

It went on to say that JBS has since implemented protection measures that exceed expectations.

However, the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE) still lists the Greeley location as having an active outbreak.

In June, the United Food and Commercial Workers union held a memorial for the JBS workers who had died from the virus.

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