GREELEY, Colo. (CBS4) – A second employee at the JBS meat processing plant in Greeley has died from the coronavirus, the union confirmed Friday.

Union President Kim Cordova issued the following letter:

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“I write to you with a heavy heart as the President of United Food and Commercial Workers Local 7, which represents roughly 3,000 hardworking and devoted employees at the JBS meat packing plant in Greeley, Colorado. It is with deep sadness that I inform you that a second member of our Union family at the meat packing plant has passed away as a result of the COVID-19 virus.

“Mr. Saul Sanchez died earlier this week, and he has now been joined by his Union brother, Mr. Eduardo Conchas de la Cruz. Mr. Sanchez was 78 years old, but otherwise in good health. Mr. Conchas de la Cruz was age 60. At present, we are aware of at least forty-two JBS employees and Union members, as well as eight employees who are not represented, who have tested positive for the COVID-19 virus – five of them are hospitalized at present.”

Saul Sanchez, 78, had worked for the company for more than 30 years.

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Saul Sanchez (credit: United Food and Commercial Workers Local 7)

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On Thursday, Weld County’s health department confirmed that at least 42 employees at the plant have tested positive for the coronavirus.

Gov. Jared Polis confirmed he and Vice Pres. Mike Pence have been talking about testing every employee at the plant.

On Friday, the union representing employees at the facility asked for an immediate, temporary closure of the facility.

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