Colorado Governor Jared Polis visited Greeley on Friday (March 5).

Polis stopped at the JBS Meat plant, which began vaccinating its workers. Polis commended JBS for paying its employees for the time to get the first dose.

More than 2,500 employees at the Greeley plant are expected to be vaccinated as part of the program. JBS is one of Greeley's largest employers.

The Denver Post reported that the plan was to vaccinate 300-350 JBS employees per hour.

Polis also stopped at the Cargill plant in Fort Morgan in Friday, which also was starting vaccination of its employers. The Fort Morgan Times reported that about 1,600 workers were going to be vaccinated at that plant.

"(JBS and Cargill) are absolutely critical in our economy," Polis said during a speech at JBS. "The importance of meat processing and food supply chain is not just for workers here...but for to every Coloradan who puts food on the plate."

Polis made sure to reap praise on the industry after receiving criticism from the Weld County government earlier this month for proclaiming March 20 "Meat Out Day." Weld County responded by declaring the day "Meat In Day."

Earlier in the pandemic, JBS had been the site of a COVID breakout that resulted in more than 300 positive cases and six deaths.

“We thank Governor Polis and the National Guard for their partnership with the Union to bring resources directly to the JBS Greeley workers," said local JBS union president Kim Cordova in a press release.

"By setting up the distribution at the plant, workers will be able to receive accurate information and get the vaccine onsite over two days. Even after vaccination, it will be critical that JBS implement proper safety protocols to protect their workers who are still at high risk of contracting the virus."

Here's the full press conference from Polis' visit:

The NoCo Virus Tracker articles are made possible by our partners, the Keep NoCo Open campaign that reminds citizens to wear a mask, wash your hands, physically distance and support local as Northern Colorado recovers from the COVID-19 pandemic.

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