HOLTON, Kan. (KSNT) – The Holton Johnsonville sausage plant is temporarily closing due to multiple employees testing positive for coronavirus, a spokesperson said Wednesday.
Five employees at the plant tested positive for the virus, and as the largest employer in Holton, Johnsonville decided to close the plant “as an extra precaution”. They will pay employees during the shutdown.
“It’s a tough decision to halt production, but we appreciate Johnsonville for doing this to help us stop the spread of COVID-19,” said Angie Reith, Jackson County Health Officer. “The Johnsonville team has implemented aggressive safety measures and did so early on to protect their workforce, and those efforts have helped immensely in identifying the virus in the facility as quickly as possible. We’ll continue our collaboration to minimize the spread of the virus.”
During the closure, the company plans to implement even more safety measures so employees can return safely after it reopens, including:
- Placing additional barriers between workstations where social distancing isn’t possible
- Coronavirus testing among all staff (tests will be scheduled for employees who’ve not yet completed a test)
- Additional sanitation of the facility
- Providing employees masks to wear when in public
As of now, Johnsonville has not given a date for reopen, but the plant said the company as a whole expects to keep up with demand for its products.