KANSAS CITY — Daily counts of new COVID-19 cases have grown from approximately 20,000 to more than 60,000 in early July. The surge prompted a flurry of activity at state and local levels, with plans to reopen restaurant dining rooms being paused or reversed to counter rising infection rates.


Supply chain 

July 14
Sauer Brands on Friday closed its Duke’s Mayonnaise plant in Mauldin, SC, after several employees tested positive for COVID-19.

July 9

Flowers Foods, Inc. closed its baking plant in Savannah, Ga.

June 26

Primex Farms closed its fruit and nut processing plant in Wasco, Calif.

June 16
Pacific Seafood has resumed limited operations at its plant in Newport, Ore.

Firestone Pacific Foods reopened its fruit processing facility in Vancouver, Wash. Limited operations at the plant began the first week of June, with production steadily increasing as more employees return.

June 9
Pacific Seafood closed five processing plants in Newport, Ore., due to an outbreak of COVID-19 among employees. More than 120 employees tested positive, the company disclosed, with most cases concentrated at a shrimp processing facility in Newport. Operations at the other four facilities also were suspended for cleaning and sanitation.

June 4
Reser's Fine Foods closed its baked sides and entrees plant in Topeka, Kan., yesterday following an outbreak of COVID-19 among workers. Operations will be paused for up to two weeks, the company said.

Tyson Foods, Inc. resumed limited operations at its pork processing plant in Storm Lake, Iowa.

A Borden Dairy plant in Lafayette, La., reopened earlier this week after closing May 25.

May 29
Tyson Foods, Inc. closed its pork processing plant in Storm Lake, Iowa, due to a delay in COVID-19 test results and worker absences related to quarantine and other factors.

Limited operations resumed at a Johnsonville sausage plant in Holton, Kan., yesterday.

A Firestone Pacific Foods fruit processing plant in Vancouver, Wash., remains closed after the local health department announced it has not been cleared to reopen. The plant closed May 19. Operations originally were scheduled to resume May 28.

May 22
Fry Foods, Inc. has resumed most operations at its plant in Weiser, Idaho, which closed May 10. A second plant in Ontario, Ore., is expected to return to full capacity by May 25.

May 21
JBS Canada is increasing production at its beef plant in Brooks, Alta. The company previously scaled down to one shift on April 22 following an outbreak of COVID-19 among employees. The plant remained open with limited capacity while a nearby Cargill plant in High River, Alta., closed for two weeks last month. Together, the two plants process nearly 70% of Canada’s beef.

A Bristol Seafood processing plant in Portland, Maine, closed earlier this week.

May 20
Cargill’s beef plant in Schuyler, Neb., reopened Monday after closing for two weeks.

Bristol Seafood closed resumed operations at its processing plant in Portland, Maine, after closing the facility for two days.

Farbest Foods reopened its turkey processing facility in Huntingburg, Ind.

May 19
Foremost Farms USA announced plans to close its Chilton, Wis., cheese processing plant in July, citing decreased demand from foodservice operators due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) as one reason for the closure.

Firestone Pacific Foods closed its fruit processing plant in Vancouver, Wash.

An El Milagro tortilla factory in Chicago will remain closed for an undetermined amount of time while the company completes a construction project. The facility which closed April 28 due to an outbreak of COVID-19, was originally scheduled to reopen May 10.

May 18
Cargill reopened its meat processing plant in Chambly, Que.

May 15
Farbest Foods announced it will close its turkey processing plant in Huntingburg, Ind., May 18 and 19.

May 14
A Johnsonville sausage plant in Holton, Kan., was closed following an outbreak of COVID-19 among workers.

Cargill closed its meat packing plant in Chambly, Que.

Fry Foods, Inc. closed its plant in Ontario, Ore.

May 13
Specialty Foods Group reopened its meat processing plant in Owensboro, Ky.

Tyson Foods is expected to reopen its chicken processing plant in Wilkesboro, NC, today.

May 12
Phased operations have restarted at Hormel Foods’ Jennie-O Turkey Store facility in Melrose, Minn.

Ferrero Canada resumed operations at its Nutella, Ferrero Rocher, Tic Tac and Kinder products plant in Brantford, Ont.

Operations resumed at a Cargill Meat Solutions plant in Milwaukee.

Specialty Foods Group announced it will reopen its meat processing plant in Owensboro, Ky., beginning May 13.

May 11
Fry Foods, Inc. closed its plant in Weiser, Idaho.

May 8
A National Frozen Foods Corp. manufacturing plant in Albany, Ore., will reopen today after closing April 23.

Hormel Foods Corp. reopened one of its Jennie-O Turkey Store plants in Willmar, Minn.

Tyson Foods, Inc. reopened its beef facility in Dakota City, Neb.

Smithfield Foods resumed limited operations at its pork plant in Sioux Falls, SD.

May 7
Tyson Foods Inc.’s pork plant in Waterloo, Iowa, will reopen today two weeks after operations were suspended. The company’s frozen chicken facility in Portland, Maine, also reopened after closing May 1.

JBS USA reopened a portion of its pork processing plant in Worthington, Minn., with reduced staff.

Conagra Brands Inc., resumed operations at its Bird’s Eye frozen foods plant in Darien, Wis. The company’s other shuttered frozen meals facility, located in Marshall, Mo., reopened May 4.

May 6
Two more meat plants in Nebraska closed earlier this week. Tyson Foods Inc. closed its pork facility in Madison and Cargill closed its beef plant in Schuyler. Asecond Cargill meat plant in Milwaukee also closed today.

JBS USA reopened its beef processing plant in Green Bay, Wis., with reduced staff.

May 5
Bornstein Seafood closed its facility in Astoria, Ore., until further notice.

Tyson Foods Inc. delayed reopening its beef plant in Dakota City, Neb. The plant was originally scheduled to reopen May 4 after closing May 1. The company’s poultry plant in Robards, Ky., reopened as scheduled yesterday, and its pork plant in Logansport, Ind., will reopen this week.

Operations have partially resumed at Smithfield Foods’ pork plant in Sioux Falls, SD. Don Miguel Foods, LLC, a subsidiary of MegaMex Foods Corp., reopened its Mexican prepared foods plant in Dallas. Operations also have resumed at Hormel Food Corp.’s facility in Rochelle, Ill.

May 4
A Ferrero Canada Ltd. plant in Brantford, Ont., will remain closed indefinitely following an outbreak of COVID-19 among workers. The plant, which manufactures Nutella, Tic Tac, Ferrero Rocher and Kinder products, first closed April 28.

Gilster-Mary Lee reopened its packaged foods manufacturing facility in Chester, Ill., May 2.

Operations resumed at Conestoga Meat Packers' pork facility in Breslau, Ont.

May 1
An El Milagro tortilla facility in Chicago will remain closed until May 10.

Gilster-Mary Lee Corp. closed its bakery mix and macaroni and cheese plant in Steeleville, Ill., for one week.

Tyson Foods, Inc. closed its Dakota City, Neb., beef facility through May 4.

April 30
Tyson Foods, Inc. closed its poultry plant in Robards, Ky., for at least four days.

April 29
Smithfield Foods reduced operations at its pork plant in Crete, Neb. The company previously planned to close the facility but reversed course following President Trump’s executive order compelling meat plants to remain open.

Hormel Foods Corp. closed its Jennie-O Turkey Store processing facility in Melrose, Minn.

April 28
Tyson Foods, Inc., expects millions of pounds of beef, pork and chicken will be eliminated from the supply chain as meat plants around the country close due to local COVID-19 outbreaks. The company placed a full-page ad in The New York Times, Washington Post and Arkansas Democrat-Gazette addressing the plant closings.

“The food supply chain is breaking,” wrote John Tyson, chairman of Tyson Foods, adding that supply of the company’s products at grocery stores will be limited until facilities are back up and running. Shuttered plants will lead to millions of livestock slaughtered as farmers are unable to sell to meat processors, the ad said.

The US Department of Agriculture plans to buy $3 billion in fresh produce, dairy and meat from farmers to reduce waste and stabilize retail prices. The agency forecasted 2020 beef prices will climb 1% to 2%, poultry 1.5% and pork between 2% and 3%.

JBS USA closed its beef facility in Greenbay, Wis., and Hormel Foods Corp. closed its Jennie-O Turkey Store processing facility in Melrose, Minn.

April 27
Hormel Foods Corp. closed two Jennie-O Turkey Store processing facilities in Willmar, Minn.

Smithfield Foods temporarily closed its pork plants in Monmouth, Ill., and Saint Charles, Ill.

Indiana Packers Corp. suspended production at its pork plant in Delphi, Ind., for up to two weeks. 

Leprino Foods closed its dairy processing plant in Fort Morgan, Colo., for at least five days. 

Conestoga Meat Packers closed its pork facility in Breslau, Ont.

April 24
Tyson Foods Inc. closed its beef plant in Pasco, Wash. The company, which previously shuttered pork plants in Indiana and Iowa this week, did not provide a timeline for reopening the facility.

Frozen seafood company High Liner Foods indefinitely closed its production facility in Portsmouth, N.H. Burgers’ Smokehouse announced its beef plant in California, Mo., will remain closed until April 30.

AbiMar Foods resumed limited operations at its cookie facility in, Abilene, Texas. The plant, which makes Lil Dutch Maid and Tru Blue products, closed April 13 after more than 50 workers tested positive for COVID-19.

April 23
Conagra Brands Inc. suspended most operations at its Birds Eye frozen foods plant in Darien, Wis., through at least April 27.

Tyson Foods, Inc., closed its pork processing facility in Logansport, Ind. The facility has been running at limited production since April 20 and is expected to stop production on or before April 25.

Comfrey Prime Pork closed its pork plant in Windom, Minn., through the end of the week.

April 22
Tyson Foods, Inc. indefinitely suspended operations at its pork plant in Waterloo, Iowa.

JBS USA limited operations at its beef plant in Brooks, Alberta.

Redwood Farms Meat Processors suspended operations at its pork plant in Estherville, Iowa.

April 21
JBS USA indefinitely closed its pork plant in Worthington, Minn.

Don Miguel Foods, LLC, a subsidiary of MegaMex Foods Corp., closed its Mexican prepared foods manufacturing plant in Dallas for two weeks.

April 20
Hormel Foods Corp. closed two manufacturing plants over the weekend. Its meat plant in Rochelle, Ill, and its meals, entrees and barbeque plant in Alma, Kas., will remain shuttered for at least two weeks.

Gilster-Mary Lee closed its packaged foods manufacturing facility in Chester, Ill.

JBS USA closed its beef and pork facility in Gun Plain Township, Mich., for two days.The company's beef and pork facility in Plainwell, Mich., which closed April 16, reopened April 18.

Kraft Heinz Co. closed its pickles and sauces facility in Holland, Mich., for one day.

April 17
Conagra Brands, Inc. closed its frozen meal facility in Marshall, Mo., until at least April 27. 

Specialty meats processor Burgers’ Smokehouse closed its facility in California, Mo., through April 20.

Campbell Soup Co. paused operations at its Pepperidge Farm plant in Denver, Pa., for one day.

April 16
Smithfield Foods Inc. shuttered two plants that process bacon and ham after previously closing a hog slaughterhouse in South Dakota. A bacon and sausage facility in Cudahy, Wis., closed for two weeks alongside a spiral and smoked ham plant in Martin City, Mo.

Officials at the Tyson Fresh Meats pork plant in Columbus Junction, Iowa, confirmed the facility will remain closed indefinitely after 86 additional cases of COVID-19 were found to be related to an outbreak at the plant.

JBS USA closed its beef and pork facility in Plainwell, Mich., for two days.

April 15
Flowers Foods, Inc. temporarily shut down production at its Tucker, Ga., baking plant. Flowers said it expects the plant to resume operations April 27.

April 14
JBS USA temporarily shuttered a beef production facility in Greeley, Colo., through April 24. The company also shut its beef plant in Souderton, Pa., until April 16, after previously cutting production.

National Beef Packing Co., LLC, announced its plant in Tama, Iowa, will remain closed through April 20. The facility previously suspended operations April 6.

April 13
Smithfield Foods announced its pork production plant in Sioux Falls, SD, will close indefinitely

April 10
Smithfield Foods closed its pork plant in Sioux Falls, SD, on April 9 after more than 80 workers tested positive for COVID-19.

April 9
West Liberty Foods closed its turkey, beef, pork and chicken facility in West Liberty, Iowa, for three days.

April 8
Maple Leaf Foods, Inc. closed its poultry plant in Brampton, Ont.

April 7
Cargill closed its case-ready beef and pork facility in Hazleton, Pa.

Tyson Foods Inc. suspended production at its pork plant in Columbus Junction, Iowa.

April 6
National Beef Packing Co., LLC, suspended cattle slaughter at its plant in Tama, Iowa.

April 2
Sanderson Farms cut production at its poultry plant in Moultrie, Ga., for four weeks after more than a dozen employees test positive for COVID-19.

Empire Kosher closed its poultry plant in Mifflintown, Pa. The plant reopened April 20.

March 31
JBS USA on March 31 temporarily cut production at a beef facility in Souderton, Pa.

Olymel LP on March 29 closed its pork plant in Yamachiche, Quebec, for two weeks. The plant reopened April 14. 

Just Born on March 25 closed two candy factories in Bethlehem, Pa., and Philadelphia until May 4.


State Actions 

July 14
Restaurants in California were ordered to close dining rooms for on-site consumption yesterday. Takeout, delivery and outdoor dining services may continue in all but one county. The announcement comes two weeks after Governor Gavin Newsom ordered restaurants in 19 of the state’s most populated counties to suspend on-site service.

Restaurants in New Mexico also were ordered to close dining rooms beginning Monday, July 13, after previously reopening with limited capacity. Restaurants in the state may remain open for outdoor dining at 50% capacity.

On-site dining has been discontinued in several major cities, including Atlanta, Miami and Pittsburgh.


Federal actions

June 5
The senate approved house-passed legislation that would extend the Paycheck Protection Program and give restaurant operators more time to rehire workers. The bill, which is expected to be signed by the president, also allows more funding to be used for non-payroll expenses, increases the loan repayment period and allows payroll tax deferment for PPP recipients.

June 4
The number of new unemployment claims dropped below 2 million for the first time since March last week, with an additional 1.8 million claims being filed, the Labor Department reported.

May 28
Another 2.1 million unemployment claims were filed last week, the Labor Department reported, bringing the total number of jobs lost since March to more than 40 million.

May 21
The number of new unemployment claims leveled off last week but did not decline. An additional 2.4 million claims were filed, the Labor Department reported, bringing the total number of jobs lost during the last nine weeks to more than 37 million.

May 18
The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released a guidance for reopening restaurant dining rooms shuttered by the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. In addition to following state and local guidelines, the centers provided a list of enhanced safety and monitoring measures, including recommended social distancing guidelines and plans for responding to a local outbreak.

May 14
Approximately 2.9 million unemployment claims were filed last week, the Labor Department reported, bringing the total number of jobs lost during the last two months to more than 35 million. The numbers have been declining since late March, when layoffs peaked at 6.9 million.

May 7
An additional 3.2 million unemployment claims were filed last week, the Labor Department reported, bringing the total number of jobs lost during the past seven weeks to more than 33 million.

May 6
The White House announced plans to wind down the coronavirus task force in the coming weeks as it focuses on restarting the economy. The group, which includes infectious disease experts Dr. Anthony Fauci and Dr. Deborah Birx, helped coordinate the government’s response to the pandemic.

May 1
Another 3.8 million workers filed for unemployment last week, the Labor Department reported, bringing the total numbers of jobs lost during the past six weeks to 30 million.

April 30
Existing federal guidelines on social distancing set to expire today will not be extended. The guidelines, which originally were set to last 15 days before being extended an additional 30, encouraged Americans to work from home and avoid public gatherings and discretionary travel. The recommendations are being incorporated by governors into future plans, the White House said.

April 29
President Donald Trump signed an executive order on Tuesday aimed at addressing concerns about meat shortages. The order invokes the Defense Production Act (DPA) to keep meat processing plants open during the COVID-19 crisis.

The president said he will “take all appropriate actions” to ensure meat processors continue operations consistent with health and workplace safety guidance.

More than a dozen processing facilities have closed or reduced operations over the last several weeks due to outbreaks of COVID-19 among workers. The result has been a 25% reduction in pork slaughter capacity and a 10% reduction in beef slaughter capacity, the United Food and Commercial Workers International Union estimated. At least 20 workers have died.

The Labor Department and OSHA issued guidance that provides liability protections for companies operating during the outbreak.The United States will support companies that face litigation for reported workplace exposures to COVID-19, so long as they demonstrate good faith attempts to comply with workplace safety guidelines, the agencies said. The federal government also will assert authority over states that order facilities closed, the Department of Labor and OSHA indicated.