Tyson Closes Iowa Pork Plant Due to COVID-19 Infections

April 6, 2020

4 Min Read
Tyson Closes Iowa Pork Plant Due to COVID-19 Infections
Tyson is stopping work at an Iowa pork plant after over 24 workers tested positive for the novel coronavirus. Image courtesy of Tyson Foods

American food firm Tyson Foods Inc. has halted work at its pork processing plant in Columbus Junction, IA after over 24 workers there became infected with COVID-19, the company’s top executive said in a press release Monday. 

“In an effort to minimize the impact on our overall production, we’re diverting the livestock supply originally scheduled for delivery to Columbus Junction to some of our other pork plants in the region,” Tyson Chief Executive Officer Noel White said in a press release. 

White offered an update on the variety of safety measures Tyson is taking in to protect its workers and products. The company has implemented temperature checks for all workers prior to entering buildings and increased its cleaning processes across its facilities, particularly in common areas. Social distancing is being promoted through workstation dividers and having workers perform their duties further away from one another. 

“We’re also coordinating with federal agencies to emphasize the need for personal protective equipment to support our team members as we remain open,” White said. “We’re looking to secure an adequate supply of protective face coverings for production workers and have implemented interim protocols for temporary protective coverings, while observing food safety.”

The company official also indicated that Tyson’s capacity may be affected by personnel issues and new safety measures. 

“Our meat and poultry plants are experiencing varying levels of production impact, due to the planned implementation of additional worker safety precautions and worker absenteeism,” White said. 

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