Tyson Foods plant in Columbus Junction to resume "limited operations"

Entrance to the Tyson Foods plant in Columbus Junction (KWQC)
Entrance to the Tyson Foods plant in Columbus Junction (KWQC)(KCRG)
Published: Apr. 20, 2020 at 9:00 PM CDT
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A pork processing plant that has been closed for two weeks while dozens of its employees tested positive for the illness caused by the novel coronavirus will be reopening in some capacity, according to company officials.

Tyson Foods, Inc., said that its plant in Columbus Junction will "resume limited operations" on Tuesday, April 21.

for a week on April 6, which was later

, following numerous positive tests among employees for COVID-19.

“Our first priority is protecting our team members while they fulfill their critical mission of feeding families across the country during this challenging time,” Dean Banks, president of Tyson Foods, said, in a statement. “We plan to increase production at Columbus Junction gradually, with the safety of our team members top of mind.”

from the disease, according to company officials. As of Wednesday, April 15,

in connection to the facility.

The Columbus Junction plant is the only one in the company to be completely shut down for more than one day due to concerns related to COVID-19.

Company officials say that they have taken steps to help prevent transmission of the virus, including screenings at entry, face coverings for workers, and workstation dividers for some of its facilities.

Local officials in


have both called on the company to shutter plants in their cities after workers have tested positive for the illness. Those plants remain open.

Some state lawmakers

about the Waterloo facility, claiming that the company failed to protect its workers and did not follow Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines for transmission mitigation.

Gov. Kim Reynolds

that shutting down food processing plants in the state was not an option for her while acknowledging that keeping them open will inevitably lead to more clusters of COVID-19 developing in association with the plants.