LOGANSPORT, Ind. – Tyson Foods announced it resume limited production at its Logansport, Indiana, facility next week.
Tyson Fresh Meats, the beef and pork subsidiary of Tyson Foods, Inc. said the announcement comes after a plant tour with local health and government officials, a union representative, and medical professionals.
The plant had agreed to a 14-day halt of operations on April 25 to test its team members for the coronavirus. Our newsgathering partners at IndyStar reported that 146 employees had tested positive for COVID-19 at the time.
“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 Senior Vice President Todd Neff.
The company said the Logansport facility is the first of several Tyson plants to receive a mobile health clinic that will provide community-based services including COVID-19 testing, screening, and assisting with the “environmental design of the facility to mitigate the risk of the virus spread.”
Logansport Mayor Chris Martin said he fully supports the decision. “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,” Martin said.
Dr. Dori Ditty, health officer of Cass County Health Department, said the company has worked worked well with community leaders to make sure the re-opening plan is safe. “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,” she said.
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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 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.
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.