JBS Packerland in Green Bay reopens Tuesday after nearly 300 workers sickened with COVID-19

GREEN BAY -- A Wisconsin meatpacking plant that closed for more than a week due to an outbreak of the coronavirus plans to reopen on Tuesday, May 5.

The Green Bay Press Gazette reported Monday that JBS Packerland would reopen with a reduced staff. The plant will first reopen its slaughter operations on Tuesday, with meat processing starting back up on Wednesday, JBS spokesman Cameron Bruett told the newspaper.

All employees will be tested before returning to work, Bruett said As of last week, nearly 300 workers at the plant, or about a quarter of its work force, had been sicked with COVID-19.

The plant shut down on April 26.

The company had no choice but to reopen its Green Bay plant after President Donald Trump issued an executive order last week requiring beef, pork and poultry facilities to operate. The order came as several major meat producers face scrutiny nationwide over their handling of COVID-19.

JBS officials have said the company took several precautions to prevent the virus’ spread, including increased sanitation, staggering breaks and lunch periods and requiring sick employees to stay home from work.