Nearly 900 workers at a Tyson Foods pork processing plant in Logansport, Indiana have tested positive for COVID-19, according to reports. The plant is one of several locations that Tyson shut down last Wednesday after significant coronavirus outbreaks among its workers.
The Logansport Tyson plant employs 2,200 people. As of May 1, 890 workers, or 40% of those employed at the plant, have tested positive for COVID-19.
About the Logansport Tyson Plant Coronavirus Outbreak
Shortly before news broke of the severity of Tyson’s virus outbreaks, the company was working with officials to reopen the plant. According to reports from local news outlets, Tyson still plans on reopening the plant next week. The plan gained momentum after the Trump administration invoked the Defense Partition Act to keep meat plants open during the pandemic. Now, workers and safety advocates are concerned that reopening the plant could be detrimental to safety.
“We were in good shape for a couple weeks and then just within the couple weeks it kind of blew up,” Serenity Alter, a health department administrator in Cass County, said to the media.
A report from the Indianapolis Star revealed a culture of fear as more and more workers became ill at the Tyson plant in Logansport. They were relieved when Tyson shut down the plant to finally contain the situation. Then the Trump administration pressed for meatpacking plants across the nation to open again.
“God help the people on the line,” said Gary Harris, a 20-year veteran of the plant. “Everyone is scared and worried, no one knows who has it and who doesn’t because the company won’t say."
Days before the Whitehouse issued its orders for meat processing plants to reopen, the Tyson Foods board Chairman John Tyson bought a full-page newspaper ad. It stated that the food supply chain was breaking down and the consumers would only be able to buy a limited supply of products in grocery stores until Tyson facilities were opened.
Safety advocates worry that opening plants now could be detrimental to the safety of workers. Across the nation, more than 4,400 meatpacking workers in 80 plants and 26 states have contracted the virus. The United Food and Commercial Workers Local 700 (UFWC) is arguing that the only way to protect America’s food supply is by protecting workers.
“The reality is that these workers are putting their lives on the line every day to keep our country fed during this deadly outbreak,” UFCW International President Marc Perrone said Tuesday. “To protect America’s food supply, America’s meatpacking workers must be protected.”
If you or someone you love tested positive for COVID-19 while working at a Tyson plant, help is available. Call our Tyson coronavirus lawsuit attorneys today at (888) 493-1629 for a free consultation.