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The Latest: Windom pork plant to close temporarily

April 23, 2020 GMT

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — The latest on the coronavirus outbreak in Minnesota (all times local):

7:20 p.m.

Comfrey Farm Prime Pork in Windom has temporarily closed after at least one employee was diagnosed with COVID-19.

The company said it would be closed until Friday while it does a “deep clean sanitization” and sets up more in-plant preventive measures.

The Star Tribune reports the company did not say how many Prime Pork workers had been diagnosed. The company employs 650 and is owned by Star Tribune owner Glen Taylor, who also owns the NBA’s Minnesota Timberwolves.

Prime Pork expects most employees to be back at work Friday, but production of some pork products will be suspended until the week of May 4.

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9:30 a.m.

The Minnesota Republican Party is moving its state convention online due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

State Chair Jennifer Carhanan told Minnesota Public Radio on Tuesday that there will be a virtual convention in place of the traditional in-person convention that was set for May 15-16 in Rochester. She said she didn’t see a way to have 4,000 people gather in an arena just 11 days after the state’s stay-at-home order is due to expire.

Carnahan said federal guidance to limit large gatherings for the time being also factored into the decision.

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The lack of an in-person state convention deprives the party of one of its key showcases for its candidates. A delay wasn’t feasible because Minnesota’s filing deadline comes in early June. So the party will endorse a U.S. Senate candidate and select national convention delegates in an online gathering. Voting will happen through mobile or computer applications.

All of the party’s local conventions this spring have been held over the internet. Congressional endorsements will come that way, too, next week.

Minnesota Democratic leaders plan to meet later this week to decide the fate of their state convention, which was set for May 30-31 in Rochester.