Photo: Ramin Talaie/Corbis via Getty Images

Tyson Foods said Thursday it's closing a beef plant in Washington state indefinitely as workers undergo coronavirus testing, warning in a statement that "the closure will mean reduced food supplies."

Why it matters: The facility in Pasco, Wash., produces enough beef in one day to feed four million people, according to Tyson. At least 12 meatpacking plants and three processed food plants have now closed due to the coronavirus, according to data collected by the Food and Environment Reporting Network (FERN).

The state of play: Tyson Foods said health officials will help test its more than 1,400 team members "as soon as possible." Employees will continue to be compensated while under quarantine at their homes. 

The big picture: The spread of the virus has affected a number of large agribusiness companies in addition to Tyson, including JBS, Cargill, Conagra, Hormel and Kraft Heinz.

  • Meat packing plants often put employees in close proximity with limited protective gear. At least 2,460 workers at food plants across the U.S. have tested positive for coronavirus and at least 17 have died, according to FERN.
  • With shutdowns and limited production, farmers have nowhere to send their livestock, causing backed up supply chains that may soon result in a meat shortage.

Go deeper: USDA says meat inspectors responsible for protective gear

Go deeper

Updated Oct 7, 2020 - Health

World coronavirus updates

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Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins; Map: Axios Visuals

New Zealand now has active no coronavirus cases in the community after the final six people linked to the Auckland cluster recovered, the country's Health Ministry confirmed in an email Wednesday.

The big picture: The country's second outbreak won't officially be declared closed until there have been "no new cases for two incubation periods," the ministry said. Auckland will join the rest of NZ in enjoying no domestic restrictions from late Wednesday, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said, declaring that NZ had "beat the virus again."

Jul 31, 2020 - Health

CDC: Most COVID-19 cases at Georgia summer camp came from kids

Photo: Gina Ferazzi/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images

Despite mitigation efforts, a 597-person summer sleep-away camp in Georgia was responsible for a cluster of coronavirus cases in June, where more than half of the positive tests came from children under age 18, according to a case study published Friday by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Why it matters: Kids are not immune to the coronavirus. The findings accentuate the unknown factors associated with how easily children transmit the virus, and only weeks before schools are expected to reopen.

Mike Allen, author of AM
Jul 31, 2020 - Politics & Policy

Biden campaign vows virus focus

Joe Biden puts on a mask after a campaign event in Wilmington, Del., on Tuesday. Photo: Andrew Caballero-Reynolds/AFP via Getty Images

Joe Biden's campaign contends that President Trump's talk of delaying November's election is an effort to distract, and vows to be what a Biden aide called "laser-focused" on Trump's pandemic response.

Why it matters: After aides convinced the president that the issue was hurting him badly in the polls, Trump has tried for the past two weeks to show renewed focus on the coronavirus, including the restoration of his briefings.