Delphi pork plant resumes operations after 2-week closure

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A pork processing plant in north-central Indiana has resumed limited production, two weeks after company officials temporarily suspended operations amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Workers returned Friday to Indiana Packers Corp.’s Delphi plant following the completion of coronavirus testing of its 2,267 workers and contractors, said Jeff Feirick, the company’s vice president of corporate planning.

Indiana Packers said in a statement that the testing found 301 plant workers who tested positive for the coronavirus. That’s about 13% of the plant’s workforce. The testing was completed with help from Carroll County health officials and the Indiana State Department of Health.

The company said that the remaining plant workers and contractors who tested negative for the virus were being allowed to return to work, as long as they show no symptoms for COVID-19—the respiratory disease caused by the virus.

Plant workers and contractors who tested positive for the virus are subject to quarantine, Indiana Packers said.

The company had announced April 24 that it was temporary suspending production at its Delphi plant in light of the increasing numbers of positive tests of COVID-19 in neighboring communities. Delphi is located about 60 miles northwest of Indianapolis.

The plant has since undergone deep cleanings, the installation of hand sanitizer dispensers and physical barriers, and taken other measures to protect workers.

Meat processing plants across the country are cautiously reopening after President Donald Trump’s executive order last week classified them as critical infrastructure.

A Tyson Foods pork plant in Logansport resumed limited production Thursday after undergoing a deep cleaning, the installation of plexiglass workstation barriers and other measures. Tests have confirmed COVID-19 infections among nearly 900 of that plant’s 2,200 employees.

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