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Smithfield idles western Illinois pork plant over virus

Virus Outbreak South Dakota
Posted at 1:43 PM, Apr 26, 2020
and last updated 2020-04-26 13:43:41-04

MONMOUTH, Ill. -- A western Illinois pork-processing plant is suspending operations after some of its employees contracted COVID-19.

Smithfield Foods Inc. announced Friday that it will shutter operations at its Monmouth, Illinois, plant beginning Monday and until further notice.

The Virginia-based company says a “small portion” of the plant’s 1,700 employees tested positive for COVID-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus.

The Monmouth plant represents about 3 percent of U.S. fresh pork supplies and also produces bacon.

Employees will be paid during the closure.

Smithfield also has closed meatpacking plants in Cudahy, Wisconsin; Martin City, Missouri; and Sioux Falls, South Dakota.