If you have been following the spread of bird flu, you may have noticed that there has been one county in particular that has been hit the hardest by the bird flu.

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Buena Vista County was one of the first places in the state that was affected by highly pathogenic avian influenza. Since early March, more than 5.4 million chickens and turkeys have been put down in Buena Vista County because of the virus.

According to Storm Lake Times Pilot, Rembrandt Enterprises, the location that had to depopulate 5.3 million birds, told their staff at a facility-wide meeting they were no longer needed.

The facility’s more than 200 hourly employees were told in the meeting to look for other work in the interim and they were not provided a return date.

People that weren’t let go were around 40 managers and salaried employees to help maintain their existing orders and equipment.

Workers that were at the meeting this week were not guaranteed that the company will repopulate their barns, said the Storm Lake Times Pilot.

This is the second time in the last seven years the company has had to depopulate over five million birds due to avian influenza. The last time this happened, the company also laid off over 200 workers.

Back in 2015 when Rembrandt had to repopulate, there was a timeline on how long the process would take. This time there is no guarantee that the barns will be repopulated.

Workers were offered severance packages based on experience ranging from $3,000 to $9,000.

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