CDC says 9% of meatpacking plant workers have been diagnosed with Covid-19 – CNBC

A Tyson Foods Inc. facility stands in Lexington, Nebraska, U.S., on Friday, April 24, 2020. Nebraska organisations that have actually laid off workers throughout the coronavirus crisis might be required to pay back tax credits and other incentives they have actually gotten through the states primary business-incentive program, the state Department of Income said.

Dan Brouillette|Bloomberg|Getty Images

Meatpacking plants, which were under pressure to produce enough food for U.S. consumers, ended up being early hot areas for the coronavirus pandemic. In April and May, the nations largest meat manufacturers, such as Tyson Foods and Cargill, were forced to close some centers due to outbreaks. Overall production of federally inspected red meat and poultry fell 8% in April and 13% in May, according to data from the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

The CDCs report assembles responses from 28 state health departments, five of whom did not report any confirmed cases tied to meat processing employees. Since May 31, 86 worker deaths across 23 states can be tied to Covid-19. Almost 240 meat processing facilities had at least one validated case amongst the workers, and more than 16,200 workers across 23 states have actually evaluated positive for the infection.

Some meat manufacturers have actually attempted to step up defenses for their workers, but others failed. In the CDCs survey, just 86 centers out of the 111 plants with details readily available on their avoidance efforts needed all workers to wear face coverings. Sixty-nine plants out of the 111 centers installed physical barriers between employees, and 41 offered Covid-19 tests to employees.

Sixty-nine plants out of the 111 facilities installed physical barriers between employees, and 41 offered Covid-19 tests to workers.

The CDCs report compiles actions from 28 state health departments, 5 of whom did not report any verified cases connected to meat processing employees. Nearly 240 meat processing facilities had at least one validated case among the employees, and more than 16,200 employees across 23 states have checked positive for the virus.

Lags in production led numerous farmers to slaughter their animals themselves. President Donald Trump signed an executive order in late April under the Defense Production Act to oblige meatpacking plants to stay open.

On Monday, a union of more than 120 groups sent out letters to Tysons biggest investors advising them to ask the meat producer to protect its workers better by offering paid leave, making sure everyday screening and other measures.

The conditions of the meatpacking industry, which requires lots of workers to be in close contact with each other for long shifts, make social distancing nearly impossible. The CDC likewise kept in mind in its report that shared transport to and from work and gather together housing likewise increase employees risk for direct exposure to the infection.

About 9% of workers at meat and poultry processing facilities across 14 states have actually been diagnosed with Covid-19, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.