May 7, 2020
Indiana Packers Set to Resume Operations
Indiana Packers completes testing of employees and tours county health officials through facility
DELPHI, IN— Indiana Packers Corporation (IPC), a global pork supplier based in Delphi, Indiana, announced plans to resume operations at its Delphi, Indiana, facility with support from the Carroll County Department of Health after working jointly with both the Indiana State Department of Health and the Carroll County Department of Health to complete COVID-19 testing of 2,267 employees and contractors who work in the facility. IPC announced the temporary suspension of operations on Friday, April 24, and completed the employee testing on Friday, May 1.
Carroll County’s top health official, Dr. Jordan Dutter, toured the IPC plant on Wednesday, May 6, and reviewed all the initiatives undertaken to ensure the safety of IPC’s team members.
“I was very impressed with IPC’s ongoing efforts to mitigate the spread of the virus and the Company’s dedication to best ensure the health and safety of its team members,” says Dr. Dutter. “Based upon my tour and review of IPC’s mitigation efforts, I believe the measures taken by IPC will allow those team members to work safely, as IPC continues to follow CDC guidelines and recommendations. I want to reiterate that IPC went to extensive efforts to ensure the safety of their employees, their end product and ultimately the consumers. We at the Carroll County Department of Health recognize IPC’s vital role in the food chain and in the agricultural community and are pleased that the Company is reopening operations. Indeed, the decision to reopen has my full support.”
During the pause in operations, IPC has continued to enhance its mitigation measures and follow CDC and OSHA guidance for the meat processing industry by adding more physical barriers and hand sanitizer dispensers. The plant also underwent multiple steps of deep cleaning and plant-wide sanitization. When production resumes, the company will implement a series of engineered improvements for increased physical distancing that start in the parking lot and entrances. This flow will continue with staggered start and break times. As team members enter the facility, they will be given fitted masks for the mandatory mask policy and there will be enhanced health screenings, including temperature checks, health questions and follow-up checks throughout the day. IPC further engaged with state resources who have expertise in infectious diseases.
“This pause in operations and the testing of our employees was absolutely a critical moment in our ongoing effort to create a safe work environment,” says IPC President and Chief Operating Officer Russ Yearwood. “The safety of our team members, contractors and the community are crucial. We suspected the testing process would generate an increase in positive cases unknown to us, but this was the point. This voluntary testing event identified those who are positive for the virus.”
Through the testing process, IPC identified 301 team members and contractors who tested positive, including those who were asymptomatic. That number’s roughly equal to 13% of the workforce at the facility. The appropriate county health officials have been in communication with all those who tested positive, with instruction for follow-up care and support.
Team members and individuals who received positive test results will be subject to quarantine, based upon the advice of health officials, the affected individual’s health care providers, and in accordance with CDC guidance. The remaining 87% of team members and individuals who received negative test results will be allowed to return to work when we resume operations, assuming they are not symptomatic.
“Thank you to all the dedicated workers at the State Department of Health, Carroll County Health Department, and Indiana National Guard,” says Yearwood. “The healthcare resources provided were invaluable in our ongoing efforts to protect our team members and to begin reopening as expeditiously and safely as possible.”
IPC will start limited operations on Friday, May 8.
April 28, 2020
Indiana Packers Works Jointly with State Health Department to Test Employees and Resume Operations
DELPHI, Ind.— In conjunction with its ongoing health and safety assessment, Indiana Packers Corporation (IPC), a global pork supplier based in Delphi, Indiana, is laying out its plan to resume operations after temporarily suspending production last week at its Delphi, Indiana, facility.
Since that time, IPC has conducted further plant-wide sanitization and worked to implement the latest CDC guidance for meat processing facilities, issued on April 25. This new guidance recognizes employers in the industry have an obligation to manage the continuation of work and to best protect the health and safety of their team members, families, and the general public.
IPC is committed to making the best possible decisions to protect its team members and the community. To help in this process, IPC is working closely with the Indiana State Department of Health and the Carroll County Health Department as it establishes a plan to resume operations. As part of that collaboration, and recognizing the importance of Indiana Packers’ role in the food chain and supporting Hoosier farmers, the State Department of Health is conducting COVID-19 testing for all employees at the Delphi facility.
“This collaboration with the state is absolutely critical to our steps in creating a safe work environment for our team members,” says IPC President & Chief Operating Officer Russ Yearwood. “We are extremely grateful to all the dedicated workers at the State Department of Health and the leadership and support of the Carroll County Health Department for the resources they are committing to help us reopen as expeditiously and safely as possible.”
The testing will start April 30 and is expected to occur over a two-day period, with results thereafter. IPC team members will be contacted either by phone or email to schedule their test. The State Department of Health, working in conjunction with the appropriate county health officials, will be in communication with all those who test positive for follow-up care and investigation.
After employee testing is complete, officials at IPC will identify a date to resume operations.
April 24, 2020
Indiana Packers Suspending Operations in Delphi
DELPHI, Ind.—Out of an abundance of caution, Indiana Packers Corporation (IPC), a global pork supplier based in Delphi, Indiana, has decided to temporarily suspend operations at its Delphi facility, as part of its ongoing health-and-safety assessments. This decision was made in light of the increasing number of positive tests of COVID-19 in neighboring communities and reports that Indiana is closing in on the expected peak of infections.
“Given the uncertainty so inherent with this pandemic,” IPC President & Chief Operating Officer, Russ Yearwood says, “we are committed to be as proactive as we possibly can so as to best ensure the health and safety of our team members. This short pause is part of the ongoing effort.”
Over the past several months, IPC has implemented a number of CDC-recommended changes, including significant measures to maximize physical distancing, enhanced daily cleaning and sanitization, and team member screenings/temperature checks at the start of each work shift. While those steps were effective, IPC, like many other employers in the state, is not immune to the effects of the pandemic. To date, IPC has had a total of 15 confirmed positive cases.
IPC has determined that now is the appropriate time to temporarily curtail operations. The winding down will be conducted in phases over the coming several days. The temporary suspension is expected to last no longer than two weeks, during which affected employees will be paid. During this time, IPC plans to engage resources with expertise in infectious diseases, conduct further plant wide sanitization and continue implementation of the latest in CDC guidance and industry best practices.
IPC officials recognize the impact this temporary closure will have on the community, including important partners in the farming and agriculture industry. IPC intends to restart operations as soon as possible.