CALIFORNIA, MO. – Specialty meats processor Burgers’ Smokehouse closed its facility after three cases of COVID-19 among its employees were confirmed. Other employees known to have had close contact with those who tested positive have also been tested and are awaiting results. Burgers’ and the Moniteau County Health Center continue to work together to contain the spread. A total of eight positive cases have been confirmed in the county, according to public health officials. Of those, four have recovered and four cases remain active. No deaths have been reported, according to the Moniteau County Health Center website.

Burgers’ said it will close the plant until April 20 and believes the decision is the most appropriate action. The company plans to reduce the number of people in production areas and break rooms to increase social distancing throughout the closure. In addition, it will continue to purchase face masks and enforce more stringent health screening before allowing employees to come back to work.

“We take our responsibility as part of the nation’s critical infrastructure seriously and will make every prudent effort to remain in operation during this ongoing crisis; however, we feel it is important to shut down for a few days in order to further prepare our facility for the safe return of our people on Monday,” said, Steven Burger, president of Burgers’ Smokehouse. “We continue to offer our prayers to those affected by the COVID-19 virus and look forward to the day when all of our employees are able to return to work.”