The food processing facility in Cass County’s Logansport saw 890 people at the plant infected with COVID-19 after all its 2,200 workers underwent testing for the disease, according to local news station WISH-TV.
The facility, which produced 3 million pounds of pork daily, is one of several Tyson Foods plants across the United states that have voluntarily closed due to the CCP (Chinese Communist Party) virus, also known as the novel coronavirus.
“The combination of worker absenteeism, COVID-19 cases and community concerns has resulted in a collective decision to close,” Steve Stouffer, of Tyson’s beef-and-pork subsidiary, said according to The Associated Press.
Cass County has been working with Tyson on a plan to reopen the Logansport plant after its voluntarily closure on April 25, which was intended for at least two weeks to contain the spread of the CCP virus, the outlet reported.
President Donald Trump on April 28 signed an executive order invoking the Defense Production Act (DPA) to designate meat plants as critical infrastructure and ordered that they remain open.
“We’re going to sign an executive order today, I believe, and that’ll solve any liability problems,” Trump told reporters.
“And we’ll be in very good shape,” Trump later said, responding to a question about the order. “We’re working with Tyson, which is one of the big companies in the world. And we always work with the farmers. There’s plenty of supply, as you know. There’s plenty of supply. It’s distribution. And we will probably have that today solved. It was a very unique circumstance, because of liability.”
Across Indiana, there are 17,835 confirmed cases and 1,007 total deaths linked to the CCP virus as of Wednesday. Meanwhile, Cass County as 1164 cases and two deaths.
Cass County Health Department administrator Serenity Alter told WISH-TV that she expects the number of cases to continue increasing. She added that she is fairly certain that the outbreak began with a Tyson employee.
Meanwhile, Tyson told the outlet that it has introduced extra measures to protect its workers.
“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,” a statement read.
Logansport and county officials recently announced new restrictions that prohibit more than one family member and people younger than 16 from entering retail stores, according to wlfi.com. The restrictions also limit how many customers are allowed inside the stores and encouraged that people going into the stores wear masks that cover their mouth and nose.
“This order is necessary to end this threat to the city as quickly as possible,” Logansport Mayor Chris Martin said.