WINDOM — Comfey Farm Prime Pork announced in a press release Tuesday afternoon that it will suspend operations temporarily at the Windom pork processing plant. This action will allow the company to put increased preventative measures in place to ensure the health and safety of its more than 650 employees and their communities..

"When we discovered our first positive case of COVID-19 at the plant, we immediately activated Comfrey Farm Prime Pork’s COVID-19 response plan,” said Tom Seigfreid, Chief Financial Officer, in the press release. “We developed this comprehensive response plan in March; today’s closure is a part of that plan to make sure we are doing everything we can to prioritize the health and safety of our employees and our communities. Every employee will continue to receive pay, and we expect most employees to return to work this Friday, April 24th .“

Prime Pork announces that the following preventative measures will be taken during the next few days:

* Health Screenings: Health screenings are already being performed on every employee before they enter the plant. The compny will be adding additional questions and equipment to its daily health checks when it resumes operations Friday.

* Employee Health: Prime Pork will perform interviews with each employee to determine who is experiencing COVID-19 symptoms, or who has come in contact with someone who has been tested for COVID, so that it can then direct employees to follow its COVID-19 response plan’s isolation protocols.

* Plant Physical Distancing: Prime Pork will increase physical distancing at the plant, including transitioning to two cut shifts.

* Plant Deep Clean: The company will perform a two-day deep clean sanitization of the entire plant.

* Reinforce Policies: Prime Pork is reinforcing self-isolation and stay-at-home policies that all employees are required to follow until they return to work.

Comfrey Farm Prime Pork’s product availability may be affected during this time, and the production of some products will be tentatively suspended until the week of May 4. The plant will be producing a different mix of products to allow for the continued processing of hogs at the facility, and hog suppliers are encouraged to continue to send hogs there to maintain animal welfare.

“We believe these actions will minimize impact in the long term to our hog suppliers and the food supply chain,” Seigfreid said.