UPDATE: Tyson has released a statement saying that limited production at its Logansport, Indiana plant will begin next week. Click here for more.
LOGANSPORT, Ind. (WISH) — Tyson Foods announced new procedures and protections for employees after this week’s report that nearly half of its meat packing plant employees tested positive for COVID-19 in Logansport.
One of the biggest changes will be a Matrix Medical Network mobile medical clinic on-site in Logansport. According to Tyson Foods, the clinic will be staffed with nurse practitioners prepared to provide daily clinical screenings. The on-site clinics will be installed first in Logansport; Pasco, Washington; Louisa County, Iowa; and Waterloo, Iowa
Tyson Foods did not reveal when it planned to reopen any of its shuttered plants, saying in a press release:
“When Tyson Foods begins to reopen idled facilities, it will be with the support of Matrix to further help protect the people who work in Tyson facilities, creating additional healthcare access when it comes to their individual health needs.”
Earlier, the meat producer released new video from its plants in Arkansas, showing off new tools to protect workers, including infrared walk-through temperature scanners, sanitizer stations, personal protective equipment and workstation dividers. It also says it has offered bonuses and increased its short term disability pay coverage to 90% with no qualifying waiting period.
This week President Trump announced meat packing plants should stay open during the pandemic to provide protein to Americans.
Wednesday, Cass County reported 1,200 new cases of the virus, 890 of which were identified as employees working at the Tyson facility in Logansport. There are 2,200 people employed at that plant, making the infection rate close to 41%. The Logansport plant had closed Saturday for 14 days to stop the spread.
Governor Eric Holcomb said Thursday that reopening all businesses would take time and significant procedure changes.
“When we roll out our next steps that put Indiana back on track tomorrow at 2:30, we’ll roll that out in stages. This will not, I sound like a skipping record I know, be back to normal and business as we used to do it. This will be very methodical and data driven,” said Gov. Holcomb.
Indiana Packers in Delphi is another central Indiana meat packing plant closed during the pandemic. Its last update was Tuesday, when it promised to test all employees between end of business Friday.