Oct 14, 2020 3:11 PM

Tyson Foods In Columbus Junction Hit With Over Two Dozen COVID-19 Cases; Plant Shutting Down Until Next Week

Posted Oct 14, 2020 3:11 PM

By Beacon Staff

The Tyson Foods’ pork processing plant in Columbus Junction has suspended operations for at least the next week due to more than two dozen cases of COVID-19 confirmed at the facility.

“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 CEO Noel White said in a statement Monday.

Meat and poultry plants are experiencing varying levels of production impact throughout the country, due to the planned implementation of additional worker safety precautions and worker absenteeism, White said.

Local producers are concerned about the impact this closure will have on their ability to sell hogs.

In addition to taking the temperature of workers at all of Tyson’s locations before they enter company facilities, White said they’ve stepped up deep cleaning and sanitizing of their facilities, especially in employee breakrooms, locker rooms, and other areas to protect team members. 

“We’re working 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,” White said.

Tyson continues to explore and implement additional ways to promote more social distancing in the plants. According to Tyson’s statement, this includes erecting dividers between workstations or increasing the space between workers on the production floor, which can involve slowing production lines.

The Associated Press contributed to this article.