Iowa meat plants must stay open despite risks, governor says

Posted at 3:23 PM, Apr 20, 2020
and last updated 2020-04-20 19:36:49-04

IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) - Gov. Kim Reynolds said Monday that Iowa’s meatpacking plants will stay open and continue to spread the coronavirus among workers, warning that shutting them down would be devastating for farmers and the food supply.

Reynolds acknowledged at a news conference that the virus spreads quickly and easily at the plants because so many workers are in close proximity. She said that “we will continue to see clusters of positive cases” in them.

Reynolds said closing them wasn’t an option, calling the state’s most important objective “keeping that food supply chain moving.” Otherwise, she warned that farmers would have to euthanize animals scheduled to be sold to plants and the price of food would skyrocket.

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