Trump's chicken man - 2020-05-04
Meatpacking facilities are ideal environments for spreading COVID-19. Cramped facilities make social distancing virtually impossible, and the "pace and physical demands of processing work made adherence to face-covering recommendations difficult." A poorly-paid workforce is "incentivized to work while ill as a result of medical leave and disability policies and attendance bonuses that could encourage working while experiencing symptoms." And rampant consolidation means that many slaughterhouses have hundreds or thousands of employees under one roof.
Of the top 25 coronavirus clusters in the United States, six are slaughterhouses. (Most of the rest are jails and prisons.) A CDC survey released May 1 found that, across the country, there were 4,913 cases of COVID-19 at meat and poultry processing facilities, which have resulted in at least 20 deaths. These figures understate the scope of the problem since four states did not provide any data to the CDC, testing is not comprehensive, and some processing companies are reticent to report illnesses to state authorities. Multiple plants have closed, suggesting a serious outbreak, without disclosing the number of positive cases.
A tally conducted by the Midwest Center for Investigative Reporting has cataloged "6,300 reported positive cases tied to meatpacking facilities," including at least 30 deaths.