Dakota City Tyson plant shutting down for deep clean

The Tyson plant in Dakota City will shut down temporarily for a deep clean. (Source: News...
The Tyson plant in Dakota City will shut down temporarily for a deep clean. (Source: News Channel Nebraska)(KOLNKGIN)
Published: Apr. 30, 2020 at 12:32 AM CDT
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A Nebraska meat packing plant is closing for four days to undergo a deep clean.

Tyson Fresh Meats announced Wednesday night that the Dakota City beef facility will pause operations Friday through Monday. The news release says increased absenteeism in recent weeks has forced the company to scale back production. It is currently winding down production.

Tyson says workers will be paid while the plant is idle.

"Team member safety has and continues to be top priority for us and we're grateful four our team members and their critical role in helping us fulfill, to the best of our ability, our commitment to helping feed people in our community and across the nation," Senior Vice President Shane Miller said.

Dakota County is experiencing an explosion of coronavirus cases. The local health department reports 704 confirmed cases in the county of about 20,000. As of Tuesday, the county had the fifth-highest rate of positive tests in the country.

The Health Department and Tyson have declined to announce how many plant workers have tested positive. One worker, a man in his 60s, has died from COVID-19. The company says the plant employs around 4,300 people and produces enough beef in one day to feed 18 million people.

Tyson says it has been taking worker temperatures, has installed barriers between workers and enforces mandatory mask-wearing. It says a team from the University of Nebraska Medical Center toured the facility recently.

The plant is the first meat packing plant in Nebraska to shut down.