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Cargill temporarily closing its plant in Schuyler

Published: May. 5, 2020 at 5:55 AM CDT
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An eastern Nebraska meatpacking plant is temporarily closing as its workforce deals with the impacts of COVID-19.

Cargill announced Monday that it started the process to idle its Schuyler beef plant. In a statement, the company says it’s shutting down because of its commitment to prioritizing employee health.

“This was a difficult decision for our team as we operate an essential service, but our values are guiding our actions,” North America Lead Jon Nash said. “Our focus now is continuing to keep our employees safe and getting our facility back to normal operations as soon as we can.”

As of Tuesday morning, the East Central District Health Department reported 431 confirmed cases in its four-county district. 241 in Colfax County, home to Schuyler, and 185 in nearby Platte County, home to Columbus. The health department is not reporting if cases are tied to packing plants.

Cargill says it is tentatively working towards the week of May 18 to resume operation. Workers will be paid 36 hours per week while the plant idles.

The Schuyler plant employs about 2,200 people and processes 4,500 head of cattle per day.

The plant is the third Nebraska packing plant to completely halt operations. It follows Tyson plants in Dakota City and Madison.