Jennie-O Turkey Store has temporarily closed another Minnesota turkey processing plant — this one in Melrose — after some employees were diagnosed with COVID-19.
Jennie-O, an arm of Austin-based Hormel Foods, said late Tuesday that it would close the Melrose plant for a deep cleaning out of "an abundance of caution."
Workers will get full pay and benefits while the plant is closed, Jennie-O said.
Four of the Melrose plant's roughly 750 workers had tested positive for COVID-19 as of the end of Tuesday, according to the Minnesota Department of Health. The company said it is working with local and state health leaders on testing workers,
Late last week, Jennie-O closed two turkey plants in Willmar — which together employ over 1,200 — for cleaning after 14 workers had tested positive for COVID-19. The company has not said when any of the plants are scheduled to reopen.
Jennie-O, one of the nation's largest turkey producers, also has slaughterhouses in Faribault and Barron, Wis., as well as meat-processing facilities in Pelican Rapids and Montevideo.
Minnesota is also home to a large chicken processing plant, Pilgrim's Pride in Cold Spring, which employs over 1,110. Some workers there protested Monday about how the plant has handled COVID-19 concerns.
As of late Tuesday, there were 17 confirmed COVID-19 cases at the Pilgrim's Pride plant, according to the health department.