SPRINGDALE, ARK. – Tyson Fresh Meats, the beef and pork unit of Tyson Foods Inc., confirmed it will not reopen its Dakota City, Neb., beef facility on May 5 as previously announced.
Last week, Tyson made the announcement that operations at the plant would be temporarily stopped through May 4 for a deep cleaning.
“The health and safety of our team members is our top priority, and we take this responsibility extremely seriously,” Tyson said of its decision to resume processing on May 5. “We continue to work through processing the large amount of testing data for our 4,300 team members, and therefore have decided to temporarily delay the reopening of our Dakota City facility. We are notifying team members with report for work instructions based on individual’s test results and care and will provide additional updates on our revised reopening timeline shortly.”
With just over 20,000 residents, Dakota County, where the plant is located, reported 938 cases of coronavirus (COVID-19) as of May 5. It has emerged as another in a series of hot spots in the state for the virus, joining cities where other meat processing facilities operate, including Crete in Saline County and Grand Island in Hall County. The Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services reports a total of 6,083 positive cases in the state with 78 deaths linked to the virus.
Tyson previously said it was working closely with the local health department and is screening plant workers for the COVID-19, with assistance from the Nebraska National Guard.