The plant, located in Logansport, Ind., has seen 890 of its 2,200 employees test positive in just under a week -- which is more than 40 percent of its workforce. It's one of several Tyson plants across the country that have voluntarily closed due to virus outbreaks.
County officials have been working with Tyson, the largest U.S. meat supplier, in developing a plan to reopen, according to Indianapolis's WISH-TV.
Case County Commissioner Ryan Browning said that plan has been expedited after President Trump signed an executive order on Tuesday, ensuring meat processing plants would stay open during the coronavirus pandemic.
The businesses are now declared as “critical infrastructure” under the Defense Production Act.
“So there is some worry there that might force them to flip a switch and go but we are continuing with our plan,” Browning told the station.
Pork processing offers workers little personal space, who typically work in a close-quarter environment, WISH-TV reported. The virus is known to spread from person-to-person within six-feet, through respiratory droplets in the air, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Tyson released a statement regarding the safety of its employees.
“We’ve been screening worker temperatures, requiring protective face coverings and conducting additional cleaning and sanitizing. We’ve also implemented social distancing measures, such as workstation dividers and more breakroom space," it said, according to the station.