Iowa officials confirm COVID-19 outbreaks at two Perdue Farms plants


State officials today confirmed COVID-19 outbreaks at pork processing facilities in northwest Iowa.

A spokesperson for the company says the testing was done three weeks ago, on the 4th and 5th of May. A previous company statement indicated 425 people were tested and less than 20% tested positive.

According to Iowa Department of Public Health information released today, 69 workers at the Perdue Farms plant in Sioux Center tested positive and tests confirmed another 20 workers at the company’s plant in Sioux City had the virus.  According to the company’s website, hogs are slaughtered at the facility in Sioux Center and the Sioux City location is the processing plant for all the company’s pork products.

Jim Perdue, chairman of family-owned Perdue Farms, issued a video statement on May 7th about the pandemic.

“We are supplying masks and protective gear to our associates and government inspectors in our plants as well as any essential personnel who enters our facilities,” Perdue said. “…We have increased our already stringent cleaning and sanitation protocols and we are physically altering our production plants and running at reduced speeds to facilitate social distancing.”

Perdue Farms is based in Maryland. The company’s website indicates it owns plants throughout the country that process poultry, pork, lamb and beef.

A “Test Iowa” site was closed in Sioux City Friday evening. A site is opening in Sioux Center this week.


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