In Iowa, Tyson Foods says it will halt operations at its Storm Lake meat processing plant after 555 employees — or more than 20% of the workforce — tested positive for the coronavirus. Buena Vista County, where the plant is located, has the highest per capita infection rate of COVID-19 in Iowa. In California, over 200 workers at eight Los Angeles-area meat and food processing plants have tested positive for COVID-19. John Grant, president of United Food and Commercial Workers Local 770, which represents the meatpackers, called on Smithfield Foods to close its Farmer John plant near downtown L.A.
John Grant: “The outbreak is over 10% of the workforce, and it’s dangerous. And the problem with this is that it’s invisible, insidious and deadly. And so, what you do is, when a shark’s in the water, you pull everybody out of the water, and you make an assessment of what’s going on.”