Fully 730 workers at the Tyson Fresh Meats pork processing plant in Perry have tested positive for COVID-19, the Iowa Department of Public Health (IDPH) announced Tuesday. The number of cases represents 58% of the Perry plant’s labor force and is by far the largest portion of a infected labor population found so far in Iowa.
Some 1,250 workers at the Perry factory received surveillance testing April 25, and the results were released Tuesday by Sarah Reisetter, IDPH deputy director, at the daily press conference held by Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds.
The infection rate among Perry’s workers far exceeds the rates found in other Tyson plants. Reisetter said the Tyson factory in Columbus Junction reported 221 positive cases, representing 26% of the workforce. The Tyson plant in Waterloo saw 444 workers infected, a 17% infection rate, she said.
The National Beef factory in Tama reported 258 positive cases, a 39% infection rate.
Perry city officials and Tyson spokespersons were not immediately available for comment.