SPRINGDALE, ARK. – Tyson Foods, Inc. subsidiary, Tyson Fresh Meats, announced its plans to resume limited operations at its Logansport, Ind., facility, during the week of May 4. The company said this would happen after a plant tour with local health and government officials, a union representative, and medical professionals.
The plant stopped production on April 25 after workers tested positive for the coronavirus (COVID-19). Since the temporary closure, Tyson asked employees to self-isolate until test results were returned by the company and the Cass County Health Department.
The company said workers who test positive or have COVID-19 symptoms would be directed to reach out to their health care provider and continue to self-isolate. Workers who test negative will be asked 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 of pork for Tyson Fresh Meats. “While the facility was idled, we added more workstation barriers, installed more hand sanitizer dispensers, and did additional deep cleaning and sanitation.”
Neff also said that Tyson is screening employees for additional symptoms and designated monitors for social distancing, while following new CDC and OSHA guidelines for Meat and Poultry Processing Workers and Employers.
The Logansport facility will also be one of the first plants Tyson sends its mobile health clinics that are operated by Matrix Medical Network.
“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.”
Services by Matrix for Tyson include testing for COVID-19; clinical screening of working environments at facilities to ensure workers’ safety; and health education for employees. Matrix also will assist Tyson officials in developing environmental designs of processing facilities to minimize the risk of spreading the virus.