Department of Public Health officials this week reported that more than 700 employees at a Tyson Foods meat factory in Perry, Iowa, have tested positive for COVID-19 - or about 58% of the plant's workforce.
According to a statement issued by Tyson Foods, the pandemic has forced the company to close several plants across the nation, including locations in Dakota City, Nebraska and Pasco, Washington as well as the plant in Perry, Iowa.
"We have and expect to continue to face slowdowns and temporary idling of production facilities from team member shortages or choices we make to ensure operational safety," the statement said.
Last week, authorities said that nearly 900 workers at a nearby Tyson Foods plant in Indiana had also been confirmed to have the virus.
The news comes after Tyson Foods board chairman, John Tyson, warned in a full-page ad last month that the food supply chain was breaking thanks to the pandemic. In the wake of several meat plants slowing production, many stores have limited the amount of meat people are allowed to purchase amid fears of a potential meat shortage. Last week, President Donald Trump signed an executive order that compelled meat processing plants to continue business as usual amid the pandemic, under the Defense Production Act.
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