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Pork producer Indiana Packers shutting down due to COVID-19 concerns

Delphi plant is Carroll County's top employer
Posted at 3:32 PM, Apr 24, 2020
and last updated 2020-04-24 16:21:28-04

DELPHI -- For the second time this week, a large pork processing plant north of Indianapolis is shutting down on a temporary basis due to COVID-19 concerns.

Indiana Packers in Delphi, about 77-miles from Indianapolis, announced Friday it was closing as part of its "ongoing health-and-safety assessments." Indiana Packers is Carroll County top employer.

The company said the decision was made in light of the growing number of positive COVID-19 tests in the area, including 15 among plant employees.

Carroll County's overall numbers are small, but neighboring Cass County has a significant outbreak. Friday, the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in Cass County rose to 225 out of 266 people tested.

On Wednesday, Tyson Foods, which is in Cass County and the largest employer there, said it was shutting down its Logansport plant, with 2,200 workers, so that all employees could be tested for the virus.

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“Given the uncertainty so inherent with this pandemic,” Indiana Packers President & Chief Operating Officer, Russ Yearwood said, "we are committed to be as proactive as we possibly can so as to best ensure the health and safety of our team members. This short pause is part of the ongoing effort.”

The company said it has recently implemented a number of changes recommended by the Centers for Disease Control, including measures to maximize physical distancing, enhanced daily cleaning and sanitization, and team member screenings/temperature checks at the start of each work shift.

Indiana Packers said the shutdown is taking place over the coming days and is expected to last no longer than two week, during which employees will be paid. "During this time, IPC plans to engage resources with expertise in infectious diseases, conduct further plant wide sanitization and continue implementation of the latest in CDC guidance and industry best practices," said Yearwood.