STORM LAKE, Iowa (AP) — Tyson Foods has announced it will temporarily close a northwestern Iowa pork plant a day after state health officials revealed that 555 of its more than 2,500 employees had tested positive for COVID-19.
The company made the announcement late Thursday in a news release that it would shutter its Storm Lake plant over the next two days and stay closed while the plant underwent deep cleaning and sanitation next week.
“When operations resume, team members at Tyson’s Storm Lake facility will continue to have access to additional testing, daily clinical symptom screenings, nurse practitioners and enhanced education through Matrix Medical which has a mobile unit onsite,” Tyson said in a written statement Thursday.
Buena Vista County, where Storm Lake is located, had 701 positive cases as of Thursday, or 3,527 cases per 100,000 people — the largest concentration of cases in Iowa.
Meat processing plants across the country have been hit hard by the coronavirus outbreak, and Tyson has temporarily closed several plants in Iowa, Nebraska and other states in recent weeks.