Jennie-O Turkey Store processing plant in Melrose resumes operations

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WILLMAR, Minn. — The Jennie-O Turkey Store turkey processing plant in Melrose resumed operations Friday, May 8, after being shut down last month when several employees tested positive for COVID-19.

In a news release, Jennie-O Turkey Store said the company restarted phased operations Friday with a core group of team members and plans to “ramp up production over the next fews days.”

On April 28, the company announced it would temporarily close the Melrose plant after 19 of the approximately 750 employees there tested positive for the coronavirus.

Action to reopen the Melrose plant follows Jennie-O’s announcement Thursday that its two processing plants in Willmar would reopen after being closed since the weekend of April 26-27 when they learned that 14 of its Willmar Avenue plant employees had tested positive for COVID-19.

A team of employees and contractors conducted a deep cleaning and sanitation processes in both of the Willmar facilities, and this week about 1,000 Jennie-O employees in Willmar were being tested for COVID-19.

Meanwhile, Jennie-O announced Thursday that three employees tested positive for COVID-19 at its facility in Pelican Rapids but so far operations are continuing there normally “with enhanced safety precautions” and there’s no indication that the plant will temporarily pause its operations.

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