Tyson will temporarily shut down its Dakota City beef facility near Sioux City this weekend.

According to a statement from the company, the facility will pause operations starting Friday through Monday, May 4th to complete deep cleaning of the entire plant. The company says it has has been working closely with the local health department and is in the process of screening plant team members for COVID-19 with assistance from the Nebraska National Guard.

The Dakota City facility is one of the largest beef processing plants in the country and employs a workforce of 4,300. It’s the largest employer in the Sioux City metro. The plant normally produces enough beef in one day to feed 18 million people, but with increased absenteeism, over the last few weeks the company has had to scale back production.

Tyson says employees will continue to be paid through the temporary closure. Tyson had previously idled its pork plants in Waterloo and Perry and plants in Indiana and Washington for similar reasons.

(By Woody Gottburg, KSCJ, Sious City)