“I will be going to give them an update on what we’re doing in Iowa and really talk about how testing and case investigation, our assessment, really working with our processing plants and how we’ve tried to be proactive in that respect,” Reynolds said yesterday, “to give him an update on that and to thank them for their assistance throughout the process.”
Based on yesterday’s reports, 16 percent of Iowa’s confirmed COVID-19 cases are employees at four meat packing plants in Columbus Junction, Tama, Waterloo and Perry. Pence told reporters yesterday in DC that there are concerns about virus hot spots in Chicago and Des Moines. A top doctor on the White House coronavirus task force also said the new cases identified in the Des Moines area are a concern.
On Tuesday, Governor Reynolds said daily case counts are growing in Iowa because testing has ramped up. In Perry, 58 percent of the Tyson meat plant workers tested there have the virus.
“We’re prioritizing areas where virus activity is high so that we can target our response,” she said.
As of today, Hy-Vee is limiting the amount of meat customers may buy as processing plants shut down due to COVID-19 outbreaks among employees.
“We’ve been in constant communication with the facilities to, you know, talk about the procedures that they’re putting in place to keep their employees safe,” Reynolds said during her daily news conference. “…They are working very diligently with their employees because they know it’s so important to keep that workforce safe and healthy.”
The vice president’s staff has announced Pence will visit Hy-Vee headquarters in West Des Moines Friday for a discussion with farm and food supply company leaders about the security of the nation’s food supply. Pence also plans to meet with faith leaders to discuss the guidelines for how houses of worship may “responsibly reopen” in the midst of the pandemic.