Tyson Foods in Logansport plans to resume limited operations Thursday morning, according to a company statement.
The pork processing plant’s employees had contacted the Pharos-Tribune on Wednesday to confirm texts directing them to return to work on Thursday and Friday.
The processing plant had closed April 25 due to COVID-19 infections, and all employees are being tested for the virus.
“All employees who have tested positive will remain on sick leave until they have satisfied official health requirements outlined by the CDC for return to work, and we have increased short-term disability coverage to 90% of normal pay until June 30 to encourage team members to stay home when they are sick,” according to the press release response Tyson sent in the late afternoon.
Employees who haven’t been tested can’t return to work until tested, and Tyson will have new hires tested before they start, the release states.
Tyson didn’t confirm that the kill line would open Thursday and the refrigeration area open Friday. It also didn’t clarify how many shifts would re-open.
The texts employees shared stated that those eligible for work must work all scheduled hours to receive the guaranteed pay for the week.
An additional $30 daily show-up bonus will continue through the end of May.
Tyson has also put in protective measures for COVID-19, including providing face masks for employees and requiring they be worn and having a mobile clinic on site.
Tyson declined to provide the number of confirmed COIVID-19 cases among their workers because “this is an ever-changing situation,” according to an email. Logansport Memorial Hospital CEO Perry Gay said that with Social Security numbers and names to sift through there’s concern of counting employees twice. The hospital is certain only of the cases its lab has processed. Logansport Memorial had 10 COVID-19 on Wednesday patients, he said.
According to the latest update from the Indiana State Health Department (ISHD), 1,442 residents of Cass County have tested positive for COVID-19.
The most recent ISHD report shows 220 cases in Howard County, 121 in Miami, 106 in White, 65 in Carroll, 34 in Fulton and 31 in Pulaski.
An additional 837 cases have been confirmed statewide by the ISDH, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the Cass County Health Department, Memorial Hospital and private laboratories. That brings the statewide total to 21,870 with 1,264 deaths, for a death rate of 5.8 percent.
A total of 120,496 tests have been reported to ISDH to date, up from 115,834 reported on Tuesday with 18.1 percent of those returning positive results.