Coronavirus impact on supply chain 'can't be measured': Tyson Foods CEO

At least six Tyson Foods employees have died of coronavirus

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Tyson Foods president Dean Banks said Tuesday the coronavirus pandemic's impact on the company's supply chain is so substantial it "can't be measured" as Tyson deals with coronavirus outbreaks at U.S. plants.

"The impacts on our supply chain really can't be measured. ... It is a pretty tremendous impact, when our plants are closed," Banks told "Mornings with Maria."

"We certainly appreciate the government support we've received," he said, adding that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention visited Tyson facilities to "review" them.

CORONAVIRUS CASES FORCE THIRD JBS MEAT PACKING PLANT TO CLOSE

Tyson is reopening its Columbus Junction, Iowa, plant on Tuesday after shutting it down on April 6. At least six Tyson Foods employees, at that Iowa plant and another in Georgia, have died of coronavirus.

All eyes are on meat processing facilities, including the indefinitely closed Smithfield plant in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, as coronavirus outbreaks continue to pop up. Companies say they're taking proper precautions to keep workers safe but have to keep operating because of their essential roles in the food supply chain.

A Tyson Fresh Meats plant stands in Waterloo, Iowa, date not known. (Jeff Reinitz/The Courier via AP)

"Some of the preventative measures we've taken really start to make the plants look like operating rooms," Banks said.

He said Tyson has seen a threefold surge in "click and collect" orders through channels including Amazon and Walmart.

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TSNTYSON FOODS INC.62.61+1.17+1.90%

Still, closures are mounting for many companies because of the virus. On Monday, beef and pork processor JBS USA said it will close a third facility because of coronavirus, while another company, Cargill, announced the closure of an Alberta, Canada, plant where at least 360 employees have contracted the virus, according to Reuters.

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