Indiana Packers Corporation (IPC) will resume operations at its Delphi, Ind., facility on Friday. The plant temporarily suspended operations on April 24 and completed employee testing on May 1.
Through the testing process, IPC identified about 13% of its workforce – 301 team members and contractors – who tested positive, including those who were asymptomatic, according to a company release. County health officials have communicated with all those who tested positive for follow-up care and support.
Employees who had 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 release said.
According to a company release, the plant is opening with the support of 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.
“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,” Dr. Jordan Dutter, Carroll County’s top health official said in the release. “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.”
Russ Yearwood, IPC president and chief operating officer, said the pause in operations and the testing of all employees has been a critical moment in their ongoing effort to crate a safe work environment.
“The safety of our team members, contractors and the community are crucial,” Yearwood said. “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.”
IPC has continued to enhance its mitigation measures and follow CDC and OSHA guidance by adding more physical barriers and hand sanitizer dispensers. The plant also performed multiple steps of deep cleaning and plant-wide sanitization.
When production resumes, the company said they plan to implement a series of engineered improvements to increase physical distancing starting in the parking lot and entrances. This flow will continue with staggered start and break times, the release said.
“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,” the company said.
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