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Tyson Foods worker, 44, dies after long battle with COVID-19

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Posted at 5:20 PM, May 25, 2020
and last updated 2020-05-25 18:20:13-04

IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) — An employee at the Tyson Foods plant in Waterloo, Iowa, died Monday after battling the coronavirus during a six-week hospitalization that was chronicled and widely followed online.

Jose Ayala, 44, died at St. Luke’s Hospital in Cedar Rapids.

His friend and co-worker Zach Medhaug says it was painful to watch his friend succumb to the virus. Ayala had received treatment at three hospitals since April 12, and his ups and downs had gained a following on social media in the six weeks since then.

Advocates say that Ayala is at least the fifth employee at the Tyson plant in Waterloo to die after contracting the coronavirus.