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Staggering 730 employees at Tyson Foods meat factory test positive for COVID-19

Just the tip of the iceberg

Photo by JEAN-FRANCOIS MONIER/AFP/GettyImages

At least 58% of workers at a Tyson Foods meat factory in Perry, Iowa, have tested positive for the coronavirus, according to NBC News.

What are the details?

A Tuesday report from the Iowa Department of Public Health revealed that 730 workers contracted the virus at the Tyson Foods meat plant in Perry.

Last week, at least 900 plant workers were confirmed to test positive for the virus at another Tyson Foods plant in Indiana.

In a statement, Tyson Foods said it had no choice but to shutter plants in Nebraska, Washington, and Iowa, and was forced to slow production elsewhere.

"We have and expect to continue to face slowdowns and temporary idling of production facilities from team member shortages or choices we made to ensure operational safety," a spokesperson said.

According to WHO-TV, Iowa Premium Beef in Tama, Iowa, saw an infection of 39% of its workforce, while Tyson plants in Columbus Junction and Waterloo had respective infections of 26% and 17% of its workforce.

What else?

In April, John Tyson — chairman and CEO of the company — issued a dire warning about the state of the nation's food supply chain as more and more meat processing plans began to close their doors.

"As pork, beef and chicken plants are being forced to close, even for short periods of time, millions of pounds of meat will disappear from the supply chain," Tyson said,

"As a result, there will be limited supply of our products available in grocery stores until we are able to reopen our facilities that are currently closed," he continued. "The food supply chain is breaking."

On Monday, 373 workers at one meatpacking plant in Missouri tested positive for COVID-19. All COVID-19-positive employees at the Triumph Foods pork processing plant were asymptomatic.

The News-Press reported that Triumph Foods is just one of the latest meatpacking plants hit hard by COVID-19 outbreaks across the Midwest.

"Coronavirus outbreaks have hit meatpacking operations throughout the Midwest, with some plants closing temporarily and farmers expressing concern about losing an end market for livestock," the outlet reported.

One last thing…
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