Iowa COVID-19 Spike Linked to Meat Processing Plants

April 21, 2020
April 19 saw Iowa's highest number of single-day spike, at 389 cases, with 67% of those attributed to two meat processing plants in the state.

Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds is refusing to issue an executive order to shut down meat processing plants despite the largest single-day spike taking place on April 19. Of the state's 389 cases on Sunday, 67% of those were attributed to two meat processing plants in the state. 

According to local news reports, state officials are citing scaled-up surveillance testing at the processing facilities as the reason for the increase in cases. According to Gov. Reynolds' office 500 Tyson employees and 500 National Beef workers have been tested. Of those tested, 84 Tyson employees tested positive while 177 National Beef workers tested positive for coronavirus.

Tama-based Iowa Premium Plant, which is owned by National Beef, had been closed since April 10 after confirmed cases of coronavirus had been identified. Despite having 177 more confirmed cases, the plant resumed production on April 20. Meanwhile, Iowa officials are asking Tyson Foods to shut down its Waterloo plant despite there being more than 100 COVID-19 cases there.  

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