Tyson to resume operations at Indiana pork facility

Tyson Fresh Meats Inc., the beef and pork subsidiary of Tyson Foods Inc. plans to resume limited production at its Logansport, Indiana, facility next week.

(Tyson Foods)
(Tyson Foods)

Tyson Fresh Meats Inc., the beef and pork subsidiary of Tyson Foods Inc. plans to resume limited production at its Logansport, Indiana, facility next week, after a plant tour with local health and government officials, a union representative and medical professionals. The pork processing facility temporarily halted operations on April 25 to test its team members for the novel coronavirus (COVID-19). 

Team members were asked to self-isolate until their results returned. The company is working with local health officials on verification of test results and will communicate with team members prior to the restart date, while following Centers of Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidance on safely returning employees back 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 encouraged to take protective steps to care for themselves. Workers who test negative will be asked to return to work, provided they remain asymptomatic. 

“We’ve taken additional precautions to reassure team members that they are returning to a safe work environment and have made additional changes to continue supporting them during this global health crisis,” said Todd Neff, senior vice president, pork. 

“While the facility was idled, we added more workstation barriers, installed more hand sanitizer dispensers, and did additional deep cleaning and sanitation. 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, operated by Matrix Medical Network, 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 the virus spread, as well as conduct daily on-site clinical screening. 

The company has doubled its bonus for employees. Team members who cannot come to work due to illness or childcare will continue to qualify, but bonus eligibility will depend on attendance. Tyson Foods also increased short-term disability coverage to 90% of normal pay until June 30 to encourage team members to stay home when they are sick. 

“Tyson Fresh Meats has worked well with local community leaders to make sure its re-opening plan is safe,” said Dr. Dori Ditty, health officer of Cass County Health Department. “We toured the plant and feel the additional measures implemented will allow employees to work safely, while continuing to follow CDC guidelines and recommendations. We’ll continue to closely monitor the situation to ensure the safety of employees.” 

“Tyson has taken strides to help keep their employees safe during this trying time, while employees received paid time to get tested,” said Cass County Commissioner, Ryan Browning. “We recognize Tyson as being a vital partner in the food chain and the livelihood of our agricultural community and are pleased with all the measures they continue to implement, including the mobile medical clinic.” 

“The decision to reopen the Logansport plant has my full support,” said Logansport Mayor Chris Martin. “We’ve all taken actions to do more to stop the spread of COVID-19. Tyson is taking more precautions with the extra measures seen during the plant tour. The company is doing the right thing and going above and beyond to make their team and community safe. Our Cass County health officials have worked endlessly to protect the community and we’re doing our part by recently signing an executive order to help prevent the spread of the virus in the city.” 

View our continuing coverage of the coronavirus/COVID-19 pandemic.

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