Please ensure Javascript is enabled for purposes of website accessibility

Tyson Urged to Close Second Iowa Plant as Outbreaks Occur at Multiple Meatpacking Facilities

By Rhian Hunt - Updated Apr 20, 2020 at 5:07PM

You’re reading a free article with opinions that may differ from The Motley Fool’s Premium Investing Services. Become a Motley Fool member today to get instant access to our top analyst recommendations, in-depth research, investing resources, and more. Learn More

COVID-19 is infecting Tyson workers in Tennessee and Nebraska, too.

Tyson Foods (TSN 0.01%) has already closed one of its slaughterhouse and meatpacking facilities in Iowa in response to coronavirus cases there, but now Iowa politicians are filing an OSHA complaint against the second, demanding its temporary closure. The news comes as dozens of new COVID-19 cases erupt at Tyson facilities in Tennessee and Nebraska, hitting crucial parts of America's food supply network as the pandemic continues.

Tyson already shuttered its Columbus Junction pig slaughterhouse, responsible for about 2% of total U.S. pork production, for two weeks in response to a cluster of coronavirus infections there. Privately held National Beef also closed its plant in Tama, Iowa, for two weeks after 177 workers tested positive for the coronavirus. The plant reopened this morning.

A digital map of the world with coronavirus icons.

Image source: Getty Images.

Three state lawmakers claim "multiple" violations of Operational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) standards at Tyson's plant in Waterloo, Iowa, located in Black Hawk County. The call came as the Iowa governor's office issued statistics indicating 67% of new state COVID-19 cases were linked to Tyson and National Beef facilities. Black Hawk County Sheriff Tony Thompson also urged temporary closure, declaring, "My personal opinion is that it should be closed ... I think we need to deep-clean that facility and I think we need to restart that plant on a clean slate."

Tyson has so far declined to idle the Waterloo facility despite the pressure mounting on it to do so. The events in Iowa are playing out at the same time 97 chicken plant workers tested positive for coronavirus in Tennessee, six cases emerged in a Nebraska facility, and three chicken slaughterhouse workers died in Georgia from COVID-19, all at Tyson locations.

Invest Smarter with The Motley Fool

Join Over 1 Million Premium Members Receiving…

  • New Stock Picks Each Month
  • Detailed Analysis of Companies
  • Model Portfolios
  • Live Streaming During Market Hours
  • And Much More
Get Started Now

Stocks Mentioned

Tyson Foods, Inc. Stock Quote
Tyson Foods, Inc.
TSN
$85.81 (0.01%) $0.01

*Average returns of all recommendations since inception. Cost basis and return based on previous market day close.

Related Articles

Motley Fool Returns

Motley Fool Stock Advisor

Market-beating stocks from our award-winning analyst team.

Stock Advisor Returns
336%
 
S&P 500 Returns
115%

Calculated by average return of all stock recommendations since inception of the Stock Advisor service in February of 2002. Returns as of 06/27/2022.

Discounted offers are only available to new members. Stock Advisor list price is $199 per year.

Premium Investing Services

Invest better with The Motley Fool. Get stock recommendations, portfolio guidance, and more from The Motley Fool's premium services.