Tyson Employee Dies After 3-Month COVID-19 Hospitalization

by Hunter Miller

Another Tyson employee in TN died of COVID-19 on July 6. The employee, Sha Myan Kaw Bu, 51, passed after a three-month hospital stay battling the coronavirus.

Kaw Bu contracted the disease in April. It remains unclear where she contracted the virus. However, at the time she became ill, hundreds of her coworkers were testing positive at the Tyson Foods meatpacking facility in Goodlettsville.

Technically, Kaw Bu recovered from the coronavirus during her hospital stay. That being said, a Department of Health spokesperson said officials may not categorize her cause of death as COVID-19. The spokesperson says it depends on what’s listed on the death certificate.

Tyson Spokesperson, Worth Sparkman, released a statement following Kaw Bu’s death. “We feel for her family and we don’t want to see any team member have this disease at all,” Sparkman said. “So we’re doing what we can to protect folks at the plant.”

More on Tyson Employee Deaths from COVID-19

Kaw Bu is one of three Tyson employees in the Nashville area to die from the virus, Nashville Scene reports. A Mexican immigrant named Jeronimo Anguiano passed in May. Furthermore, another employee from the Goodlettsville facility died earlier this year.

A majority of Tyson’s meatpacking workforce consists of immigrant laborers. Local officials in the Nashville area hope to protect workers like those at Tyson from the impact of the coronavirus.

Lisa Sherman-Nikolaus, executive director of Tennessee Immigrant and Refugee Rights Coalition Votes, commented on the issue. “Immigrant and refugee workers continue to show up to jobs that keep our communities healthy, safe and fed while employers put them at risk of exposure to COVID-19,” Sherman-Nikolaus said.

She continued by adding: “It is time for our elected officials to enact enforceable regulations that hold employers accountable and keep workers and their communities healthy. No worker, no matter where they’re from or how they got here, should have to choose between protecting themselves and their family from infection and earning a living.”

[H/T Nashville Scene]