Tyson Fresh Meats, Inc., the beef and pork subsidiary of Tyson Foods, Inc., will resume limited production at its Logansport, Indiana facility. The pork processing facility temporarily halted operations on April 25 to test team members for COVID-19.
According to Tyson, staff members were asked to self-isolate until their results were received. The company is working with local health officials on the verification of test results and will communicate with team members prior to the restart date, while following CDC guidance on safely returning employees to work. Workers who test positive or have symptoms consistent with COVID-19 will be directed to reach out to their health care provider, continue to self-isolate, and be encouraged to take protective steps to care for themselves. Workers who test negative will be asked to return to work, provided they remain asymptomatic.
“While the facility was idled, we added more workstation barriers, installed more hand sanitizer dispensers, and did additional deep cleaning and sanitation,” states Todd Neff, senior vice president pork. “We’re also now screening employees for additional symptoms and designating monitors to help enforce social distancing, while following the CDC and OSHA’s guidance for meat and poultry processing workers and employers.”
In addition, the Logansport facility is the first of several Tyson plants to receive a mobile health clinic to provide community-based services ranging from diagnostic (PCR) testing for COVID-19, assist with the environmental design of the facility to mitigate the risk of virus spread, and conduct daily on-site clinical screening.
In addition, the company has doubled bonuses for employees. Staff who cannot come to work due to illness or childcare issues will continue to qualify, but bonus eligibility will depend on attendance. Tyson Foods also has increased short-term disability coverage to 90% of normal pay until June 30 to encourage team members to stay home when they are sick.
According to Dr. Dori Ditty, health officer of the Cass County Health Department, Tyson Fresh Meats has worked with local community leaders to make sure its reopening plan is safe. “We toured the plant and feel the additional measures implemented will allow employees to work safely, while continuing to follow CDC guidelines and recommendations,” Ditty states. “We’ll continue to closely monitor the situation to ensure the safety of employees.”
Tyson Fresh Meats recently announced its plans to temporarily halt operations at its Dakota City, Nebraska beef plant for additional deep cleaning and sanitation. The group also voluntarily idled its locations in Waterloo and Perry, Iowa and Pasco, Washington, while team members undergo testing and plants complete deep cleaning of the facilities.
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