Tyson Closes Beef Facility in Pasco, Wash., to Test Staff for Covid

Tyson Foods, which has closed two of its key pork plants, also closed a beef facility in Washington state to test staff for covid.
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Tyson Foods  (TSN) - Get Report said it was shutting down its beef facility in Pasco, Wash., while employees at the facility undergo testing for coronavirus. 

Tyson will work with health officials in Walla Walla, Benton and Franklin Counties to test more than 1,400 employees for coronavirus. 

The workers will continue to be compensated while the plant is closed for testing. 

“We’ve taken both of our responsibilities to continue feeding the nation and keeping our team members safe and healthy seriously,” said Steve Stouffer, group president of Tyson Fresh Meats, in a statement.

The facility produces enough beef in one day to feed four million people. 

This is the second plant Tyson Foods is closing this week. 

Tyson said its beef and pork subsidiary, Tyson Fresh Meats, plans to indefinitely suspend operations at its Waterloo, Iowa, pork plant this week.

The facility, Tyson's largest pork plant, has been running at reduced levels of production due to worker absenteeism amid questions about safety from coronavirus at the plant.

"Despite our continued efforts to keep our people safe while fulfilling our critical role of feeding American families, the combination of worker absenteeism, covid-19 cases and community concerns has resulted in our decision to stop production," said Stouffer. 

The company said the move would interrupt a "vital market outlet for farmers and further contributes to the disruption of the nation's pork supply."

The company also said that workers at that plant will continue to be compensated while the plant is closed. 

Tyson shares at last check rose 1.4% to $60.76.