CHEROKEE, Iowa - Lopez Foods in Cherokee was planning being up and running sometime in mid-May, but that start date could certainly be delayed further following a confirmed positive case of COVID-19 at the plant with one of the contract workers.
Lopez Foods took control of the former Tyson and Iowa Food Group meat plant in Cherokee last year (July 2019), landing $1.86 million in financial assistance to get the plant up and running again.
Since purchasing the plant Lopez Foods has been in the process of installing nearly $50 million in equipment and upgrades in preparation for its opening. Already, Lopez Foods has spent an estimated $25 million in plant renovation, stainless steel interior and asbestos mitigation.
All contract laborers have been sent home to be with their families and quarantine,” said Lopez Foods in a statement. “We want our facilities and our people to be safe. This is the right thing to do.”