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Tyson Fresh Meats in Logansport closing after workers contract coronavirus

The plant reopened Tuesday and is running at limited capacity because of decreased worker attendance. The company will stop all production by Saturday.

Posted: Apr 23, 2020 11:40 AM
Updated: Apr 23, 2020 3:32 PM

LOGANSPORT, Ind. (AP) — Tyson Foods Inc. announced Wednesday that it will temporarily close its meatpacking plant in north-central Indiana after 146 employees tested positive for coronavirus.

The Tyson Fresh Meats plant in Logansport produced 3 million pounds of pork daily.

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A Tyson Fresh Meats plant employee leaves the plant, Thursday, April 23, 2020, in Logansport, Ind. The plant will temporarily close its meatpacking plant in north-central Indiana after several employees tested positive for COVID-19. (AP Photo/Darron Cummi

Tyson suspended production Monday to allow for cleaning and sanitizing.

The plant reopened Tuesday and is running at limited capacity because of decreased worker attendance.

The company will stop all production by Saturday.

“The combination of worker absenteeism, COVID-19 cases and community concerns has resulted in a collective decision to close,” said Steve Stouffer, of Tyson’s beef-and-pork subsidiary.

Cass County officials said 47 people in the county have tested positive for the virus, with some of those traced back to Tyson employees.

Testing of all remaining plant workers will start Thursday, said Cass County Health Department Administrator Serenity Alter.

She said officials are hopeful that the test results back within several days so the plant can resume production.

Employers have struggled to contain the virus in meatpacking plants, where workers toil side by side on production lines and often share crowded locker rooms, cafeterias and rides to work.

Several facilities have temporarily closed due to virus outbreaks, including a Smithfield Foods plant in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, a JBS USA plant in Worthington, Minnesota, and a Redwood Farms Meat Processors in Estherville, Iowa.

Others have stayed open or resumed production after pauses for testing and cleaning.

An estimated 25% of U.S. pork processing capacity has been closed or idled due to reduced operating speed over the past two days, said Steve Meyer, an economist with Kerns and Associates in Ames, Iowa.

“Closing facilities have serious implications to the national food supply for American families, local communities, growers and farmers,” Stouffer said. ”When a facility closes, the availability of protein for consumers across the nation will only decrease.”

Prices are starting to rise as a result, with analysts warning of an upcoming shortage of certain products at grocery stores.

At the same time, hog prices are plummeting due to excess supply, which is hurting farmers.

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 944708

Reported Deaths: 15343
CountyCasesDeaths
Marion1287051987
Lake634321097
Allen53759760
Hamilton43980448
St. Joseph42010590
Elkhart33651491
Vanderburgh30486449
Tippecanoe26872250
Johnson23685417
Hendricks22354341
Porter21799347
Clark17493231
Madison17439384
Vigo16209284
Monroe14515191
LaPorte14350239
Delaware14134222
Howard13921273
Kosciusko11448135
Hancock10886166
Warrick10715177
Bartholomew10589169
Floyd10471206
Wayne10020226
Grant9165204
Morgan8895160
Boone8417111
Dubois7748123
Dearborn764990
Henry7648130
Noble7435101
Marshall7384128
Cass7209117
Lawrence6999153
Shelby6616111
Jackson659186
Gibson6177107
Harrison606286
Huntington603195
Montgomery5830105
DeKalb578391
Knox5506104
Miami545788
Putnam540568
Clinton535965
Whitley526553
Steuben499768
Wabash486292
Jasper481860
Jefferson472892
Ripley456077
Adams445568
Daviess4209108
Scott407965
White392957
Clay392857
Greene390592
Wells388784
Decatur385996
Fayette377278
Posey361541
Jennings354356
Washington333747
LaGrange323575
Spencer319536
Fountain317955
Randolph314889
Sullivan308449
Owen284863
Starke281464
Fulton280054
Orange276859
Jay256338
Perry252552
Carroll244929
Franklin240538
Rush235630
Vermillion234450
Parke221020
Tipton210555
Pike209539
Blackford169634
Pulaski165551
Crawford146718
Newton145245
Benton143516
Brown135546
Martin129317
Switzerland126210
Warren115516
Union97711
Ohio80111
Unassigned0479

Ohio Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 1373275

Reported Deaths: 21596
CountyCasesDeaths
Franklin1527821560
Cuyahoga1349902327
Hamilton979751320
Montgomery674391141
Summit564421047
Lucas51165863
Butler47623655
Stark41836976
Lorain31748532
Warren30182331
Mahoning27127639
Clermont25753292
Lake24662417
Delaware22415145
Licking20587241
Fairfield20543221
Greene20436272
Trumbull19983509
Medina19884287
Clark17992328
Richland16428234
Portage16225229
Wood15771208
Allen14196256
Miami13889253
Muskingum12762152
Wayne12044238
Columbiana11800241
Tuscarawas11064269
Marion10797148
Pickaway10519129
Scioto10394127
Erie9784171
Ross9502176
Lawrence8809125
Hancock8514141
Ashtabula8376185
Geauga8196156
Belmont8180187
Jefferson7589172
Huron7476128
Union736651
Washington7245120
Athens701765
Sandusky6885134
Darke6789136
Knox6724122
Seneca6422137
Ashland5989113
Auglaize590488
Shelby5774101
Brown568571
Mercer560290
Defiance5511101
Crawford5477114
Madison546771
Highland545081
Fulton536283
Clinton529280
Logan514282
Preble5033110
Putnam4859106
Guernsey474764
Williams462282
Perry456452
Champaign448864
Ottawa439084
Jackson429562
Pike392643
Morrow389051
Coshocton381666
Fayette378453
Adams363575
Hardin362069
Gallia349856
Henry327368
Holmes3273108
Van Wert316170
Hocking305169
Wyandot282658
Carroll264752
Paulding243543
Meigs217442
Monroe190849
Noble171140
Morgan168129
Harrison159340
Vinton139318
Unassigned05
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Sunshine and warmer air return to round out the work week, but the warm-up is brief.
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