Testing could begin as early as today at a Logansport pork processing plant where dozens of workers have already tested positive for the coronavirus. Tyson Fresh Meats, a subsidiary of food giant Tyson Foods Inc. (NYSE: TSN) has agreed to voluntarily close the plant while the more than 2,200 workers there are tested.
The company says it suspended production at the facility on Monday for additional deep cleaning and sanitizing but had been running and limited production since then. All production is expected to stop on or before Saturday.
“While we understand the necessity of keeping our facilities operational so that we can continue to feed the nation, the safety of our team members remains our top priority,” Steve Stouffer, group president of Tyson Fresh Meats, said in a news release. “Our company is deeply embedded in our plant communities, including Logansport. We’re working with the county to make sure our people and the community are safe. The combination of worker absenteeism, COVID-19 cases and community concerns has resulted in a collective decision to close.”
Tyson says all employees at the facility will continue to be paid while the plant is closed. The company adds production will resume depending on several factors, including the results of the employee testing.
Tyson Foods has also indefinitely suspended operations at its pork plant in Waterloo, Iowa. The company’s additional meat and poultry plans are continuing to operate, though Tyson says some are running at reduced production levels.