Another Iowa Pork Plant Closing Due to COVID-19 Outbreak
Another Tyson plant in Iowa has announced a temporary shutdown.
The Tyson pork plant in Storm Lake, Iowa is closing because more than 20 percent of the plant's workers have tested positive for COVID-19. Officials with the Iowa Department of Public Health confirmed at a press conference Thursday that 555 of the over 2,500 people who work at the plant have come down with the virus. That's more than 22 percent of employees.
In Tyson's statement, posted by KTIV, the company says "Tyson has made the voluntary decision to temporarily halt operations... This is due in part to a delay in COVID-19 testing results and team member absences related to quarantine and other factors."
Tyson plans to finish processing animals at the Storm Lake plant within two days and they will then shut down. During the closure, the company says "Additional deep cleaning and sanitizing of the entire facility will be conducted before resuming operations later next week."
Pork Business reports Tyson Foods' pork plant in Storm Lake slaughters 17,250 pigs daily when running at 100 percent. That equates to 3.5 percent of pork production in the U.S.
According to Reuters, the United Food and Commercial Workers International Union says over 3,000 meatpacking workers in the United States have now tested positive for COVID-19. Forty-four of them have died.