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Tyson Foods pork processing plant in Iowa partially reopening after coronavirus outbreak

Tyson Foods pork processing plant in Iowa partially reopening after coronavirus outbreak
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A Tyson Foods pork processing plant in Iowa is partially reopening after having a coronavirus outbreak, the company announced Tuesday.

Two employees of Tyson Foods’ Columbus Junction, Iowa, pork processing plant died because of the coronavirus and at least 148 workers tested positive for the virus, the company disclosed last week. The company is the second-largest chicken, beef and pork processor in the world.

“We plan to increase production at Columbus Junction gradually, with the safety of our team members top of mind,” Tyson Foods President Dean Banks said in a statement. 

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Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds (R) announced Monday that all of the Tyson's employees in Columbus Junction have now been tested for coronavirus and has said she does not expect to order meat-packing plants be closed.

Reynolds has suggested the National Guard could help with coronavirus testing and contact tracing as more food and meat processing plants in the state close due to concerns about contamination.

A worker at a Smithfield Foods plant in Sioux Falls, S.D., which also had an outbreak, died from coronavirus last week. The facility has reported 644 confirmed cases.

Recent closures of processing plants due to coronavirus outbreaks have put a spotlight on the food supply chain. Agriculture Secretary Sonny PerdueSonny PerdueThe Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Facebook - Georgia election day is finally here; Trump hopes Pence 'comes through for us' to overturn results Civil war between MAGA, GOP establishment could hand Dems total control Trump administration races to finish environmental rules, actions MORE said this week that the U.S. food supply chain remains sound.