Nearly 900 workers at the Tyson Foods plant in Indiana have tested positive for the coronavirus, raising concerns about meat processing plants resuming operations.
The Logansport, Indiana, pork processing plant’s ill workers account for roughly 40% of its workforce — 890 workers have been infected with the virus — which consists of approximately 2,200 workers. It has been reported that the spread occurred over the span of less than a week.
Despite growing concerns about the outbreak, Serenity Alter — health department administrator for Cass County, Indiana — offered a brief timeline of the events that have occurred. He noted that the viral spread happened relatively quickly.
“We were in good shape for a couple weeks and then just within the couple weeks it kind of blew up,” Alter said, according to WishTV.
Alter is also hoping that the notable increases will not lead to their region becoming a hotspot.
“With our numbers increasing the way they are, hopefully, we will not be one of those regions just quite yet,” Alter said.
According to Alter’s contact tracing research, she has gathered that the outbreak started with a Tyson worker. The other concern is the plant’s close proximity to homes and other plant facilities.
In many cases, plant workers are employed at more than one area plant which raised the possibility of the virus spreading to other locations.
Cass County Commissioner Ryan Browning is also working with Alter and public health officials to develop a reopening plan. Due to the president’s recent executive order, Brown has expressed concern about the plant possibly being forced to reopen prematurely.
Despite the outbreaks, Trump’s executive order mandates the reopening of meat processing plants to combat the possibility of a nationwide food shortage.
“There is some worry there that might force them to flip a switch and go but we are continuing with our plan,” Browning said.
However, Tyson Foods has also released a statement to News 8 about the measures being taken to ensure the safety of employees:
“We’ve been screening worker temperatures, requiring protective face coverings and conducting additional cleaning and sanitizing. We’ve also implemented social distancing measures, such as workstation dividers and more breakroom space.”
The Logansport plant is one of several meat processing plants that closed across the country due to the coronavirus concerns.
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