Out of an abundance of caution, Indiana Packers Corp. (IPC), a global pork supplier based in Delphi, 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. The announcement was made by the company Friday afternoon (April 24).

“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.”

Carroll County Preparedness Director Valerie Cree said the county health department was in on a conference call late Wednesday afternoon with IPC and state officials. A shutdown of the plant was discussed but not decided at that point. On Wednesday six employees had tested positive for COVID-19. The following day, the count was up to 10.

To date, IPC has had a total of 15 confirmed positive cases.

“The decision to temporarily shutdown was IPC’s in its effort to be pro-active,” Cree said.

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.

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.
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