DELPHI, IN— Indiana Packers Corporation (IPC) announced plans Thursday to resume operations at its Delphi facility. According to a press release, IPC worked with the Carroll County Department of Health and Indiana State Department of Health to test 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 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.”
According to IPC, during the shutdown, the company worked to improve COVID-19 prevention 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, IPC will implement increased physical distancing that start in the parking lot and entrances and continue with staggered start and break times. Employees 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.
“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, IPC found 301 employees who tested positive.