Despite calls from local health officials to temporarily close the Tyson Fresh Meats plant in Waterloo, Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds said Monday that she has no plans to order Tyson to close down.

The Cedar Rapids Gazette reports that employees have also voiced their concerns over worker safety. Officials say that despite an outbreak of COVID-19 at the plant, Governor Reynolds won't shut the plant down saying it is too important to keep businesses in the food chain running normally. Reynolds did acknowledge that workers at meatpacking plants are extremely susceptible to getting the virus as they have to stand shoulder to shoulder to work.

"At Iowa Premium meatpacking in Tama, 177 out of 500 workers tested positive for COVID-19", according to the Gazette. That plant reopened yesterday. The report states that outbreaks have also occurred at Tyson plants in Columbus Junction and Perry, but those plants closed down, at least temporarily.

The Gazette reports that Tyson has declined to release the number of people who have tested positive for COVID-19. Black Hawk county health officials classified the cases as an outbreak, meaning at least 10 percent of the business's employees are infected.


How can I stay safe while grocery shopping? And answers to 24 other coronavirus questions

More From 98.1 KHAK