Tyson Foods in Waterloo has announced they're closing their Waterloo pork processing plant indefinitely. The closure comes a day after KCRG reported the Black Hawk County Board of Health issued a proclamation asking Governor Kim Reynolds and Tyson Foods to close the Waterloo plant due to a COVID-19 outbreak.

In a morning statement, Tyson Fresh Meats Group President Steve Stouffer said,

Protecting our team members is our top priority and the reason we’ve implemented numerous safety measures during this challenging and unprecedented time. Despite our continued efforts to keep our people safe while fulfilling our critical role of feeding American families, the combination of worker absenteeism, COVID-19 cases and community concerns has resulted in our decision to stop production. The closure has significant ramifications beyond our company, since the plant is part of a larger supply chain that includes hundreds of independent farmers, truckers, distributors and customers, including grocers. It means the loss of a vital market outlet for farmers and further contributes to the disruption of the nation’s pork supply.

According to KWWL, Tyson Foods will continue to pay workers while the Waterloo plant is shut down. Tyson will ask all of the approximate 2,800 people who work at the Waterloo facility to report to the plant to be tested for the virus. The first indicator of when the plant could reopen will be the results of those tests. Those are scheduled to happen later this week.

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