pcloudy.png
Thursday August 6th, 2020 8:48PM

CDC: Minorities affected much more in meatpacking outbreaks

By The Associated Press
Related Articles
  Contact Editor

A new report studying the impact of the coronavirus on workers at meat processing plants has found that 87% of people infected were racial or ethnic minorities and that at least 86 workers have died.

The report released Tuesday by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention examined more than 16,000 COVID-19 cases at 239 plants in 21 states. It offers perspective on how the virus devastated U.S. pork, beef and poultry processing plants, but the figures likely understate the problem as Iowa officials declined to participate in the study.

Iowa is the nation's largest pork-producing state and saw severe coronavirus outbreaks at several huge processing plants.

The CDC report found 87% of coronavirus cases occurred among racial and ethnic minorities even though they made up 61% of the overall worker population. The data shows 56% of coronavirus illnesses involved Hispanic workers, 19% were non-Hispanic Blacks and 12% were Asians. The data showed 13% of coronavirus cases involved white workers, who made up 39% of the overall workforce studied.

“The effects of COVID-19 on racial and ethnic minority groups are not yet fully understood; however, current data indicate a disproportionate burden of illness and death among these populations,” the CDC said. “Ongoing efforts to reduce incidence and better understand the effects of COVID-19 on the health of racial and ethnic minorities are important to ensure that workplace-specific prevention strategies and intervention messages are tailored to those groups most affected by COVID-19.”

The agency said about 9% of more than 112,600 meatpacking plant workers at plants in 14 states came down with the illness caused by the coronavirus. The percentage of workers with COVID-19 ranged from 3.1% to 24.5% per facility.

United Food and Commercial Workers Union International Vice President Mark Lauritsen said workers need real enforcement of the highest safety standards in meatpacking and other essential industries.

“This new CDC report makes clear what UFCW has been saying for months. The COVID-19 pandemic is far from over and its impact on front-line workers — especially workers of color — is continuing to increase," he said. “American workers simply cannot survive with the current patchwork of safety measures put in place by a fraction of companies and states. Without a strong national standard, millions of workers are still unprotected and vulnerable."

The union, which represents over 250,000 workers in meatpacking and food processing, said the CDC data is consistent with its data but likely under counts those affected since the data comes from fewer than half the states. The union said at least 76 workers deaths have been reported at plants it represents and 15,682 workers have been infected or exposed.

A spokeswoman for The North American Meat Institute, a trade group for the meat processing industry, did not immediately respond to a message. The animal slaughtering and processing industry employs an estimated 525,000 workers in about 3,500 facilities nationwide.

The CDC noted that Iowa was among the states that didn't contribute coronavirus-related meat processing plant data. Iowa is the nation's leading pork producer and has about a dozen large-scale meat processing plants. Many had outbreaks sickening hundreds of workers. The Iowa Department of Public Health did not respond to a message seeking comment on why the state didn't provide the CDC with data.

  • Associated Categories: U.S. News, Associated Press (AP), AP National News, Top U.S. News short headlines, AP Business, AP Business - Industries, AP Business - Agriculture, AP Business - Poultry & Egg
© Copyright 2020 AccessWDUN.com
All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.
'A hot mess': Americans face testing delays as virus surges
Four months, 3 million confirmed infections and over 130,000 deaths into the U.S. coronavirus outbreak, Americans confronted with an alarming resurgence of the scourge are facing long lines at testing sites and going a week or more without receiving a diagnosis
4:09PM ( 6 minutes ago )
Vindman retiring from Army, lawyer blames Trump
Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman, a national security aide who played a central role in President Donald Trump’s impeachment case, has announced his retirement from the Army
4:05PM ( 10 minutes ago )
Trump threatens to cut federal aid if schools don't reopen
President Donald Trump is threatening to withhold federal money if schools don’t reopen in the fall
4:04PM ( 12 minutes ago )
Associated Press (AP)
Kanye West breaks with Trump, claims 2020 run is not a stunt
Kanye West says he is no longer a Trump supporter
2:59PM ( 1 hour ago )
Trump, Lopez Obrador visit is about trade, but politics too
President Donald Trump’s meeting with Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador is being billed as a celebration of economic ties and the new North American trade agreement
2:58PM ( 1 hour ago )
Despite risks, Trump invests big in attacks on Biden's age
President Donald Trump has accused his Democratic rival Joe Biden of having connections to the “radical left” and has pilloried his relationship with China, his record on criminal justice, his plans for the pandemic and even his son’s business dealings
2:57PM ( 1 hour ago )
AP National News
Richmond removes Confederate Soldiers and Sailors statue
Work crews have taken down the Confederate Soldiers and Sailors statue in Richmond
1:03PM ( 3 hours ago )
Harvard, MIT sue to block ICE rule on international students
Harvard University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology filed a federal lawsuit Wednesday challenging the Trump administration’s decision to bar international students from staying in the U.S. if they take classes online this fall
11:20AM ( 4 hours ago )
US: Ex-Nissan boss wired money to man who helped him flee
Prosecutors say former Nissan Motor Co. Chairman Carlos Ghosn wired more than $860,000 to a company linked to one of the men accused of helping smuggle him out of Japan in a box last year
11:08AM ( 5 hours ago )
Top U.S. News short headlines
Serbian leader backtracks on lockdown amid chaotic protests
Police have fired tear gas at protesters in Serbia’s capital during the second day of demonstrations against the president’s handling of the country’s coronavirus outbreak
3:28PM ( 48 minutes ago )
Serbian leader backtracks on lockdown amid violent protests
Police have fired tear gas at protesters in Serbia’s capital during the second day of demonstrations against the president’s handling of the country’s coronavirus outbreak
3:07PM ( 1 hour ago )
Housing market heats up, cruise industry in murky waters
Home buying is heating up, despite the pandemic
2:47PM ( 1 hour ago )
AP Business
Mexico's López Obrador sees Lincoln Memorial, Juarez statue
Mexico’s Andrés Manuel López Obrador has begun his trip to the United States — his first foreign trip as president — with visits to the Lincoln Memorial and the statue of Benito Juarez, a former president and national hero in Mexico
12:32PM ( 3 hours ago )
Wall Street loses early momentum as S&P 500 drifts
U.S. stocks are drifting Wednesday, with indexes flipping from small gains to losses, as weakness across much of Wall Street collides with continued strength for a handful of big tech companies
11:41AM ( 4 hours ago )
The Latest: Spain's Catalonia mandates use of masks outdoors
Spain’s northeastern Catalonia region will make mandatory the use of masks outdoors even when social distancing is maintained
6:18AM ( 9 hours ago )
AP Business - Industries
The Latest: UN warns terrorist groups could exploit pandemic
United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres warned Monday that the coronavirus pandemic could provide new opportunities for terrorist groups such as the Islamic state, al-Qaida, neo-Nazis and hate groups
7:19PM ( 1 day ago )
The Latest: Dragon Con moves online over virus concerns
Organizers of Dragon Con, a popular sci-fi, fantasy and gaming convention in Atlanta, have announced that the in-person event will be canceled this year in response to the coronavirus pandemic
6:21PM ( 1 day ago )
The Latest: West Virginia mandates face masks indoors
West Virginia's governor has instituted a mandatory face mask order for indoor spaces after the state reported record numbers of newly confirmed coronavirus cases over the weekend
5:31PM ( 1 day ago )
AP Business - Agriculture
The Latest: 371 test positive at Missouri chicken plant
Tyson Foods says 371 employees at its chicken processing plant in the far southwestern corner of Missouri have tested positive for COVID-19
6:46PM ( 1 week ago )
Families of 3 deceased workers sue Tyson over Iowa outbreak
The families of three workers who died after contracting coronavirus in an Iowa meat plant outbreak are suing Tyson Foods and its top executives, saying the company knowingly put employees at risk and lied to keep them on the job
6:38PM ( 1 week ago )
The Latest: SKorea continues upward trend in new infections
South Korea has reported 51 additional cases of the coronavirus over the past 24 hours, a continuation of an upward trend in new infections
10:23PM ( 2 weeks ago )
AP Business - Poultry & Egg
'A hot mess': Americans face testing delays as virus surges
Four months, 3 million confirmed infections and over 130,000 deaths into the U.S. coronavirus outbreak, Americans confronted with an alarming resurgence of the scourge are facing long lines at testing sites and going a week or more without receiving a diagnosis
4:09PM ( 7 minutes ago )
Vindman retiring from Army, lawyer blames Trump
Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman, a national security aide who played a central role in President Donald Trump’s impeachment case, has announced his retirement from the Army
4:05PM ( 10 minutes ago )
Trump threatens to cut federal aid if schools don't reopen
President Donald Trump is threatening to withhold federal money if schools don’t reopen in the fall
4:04PM ( 12 minutes ago )
The Latest: South Africa prepares 1.5 million gravesites
A health official in South Africa’s new coronavirus hot spot of Gauteng province says authorities are preparing over 1.5 million gravesites as confirmed cases rise
3:46PM ( 29 minutes ago )
Criticism of US pullout from WHO from allies, China alike
Top U.S. allies are denouncing the planned pullout of the United States from the World Health Organization
3:45PM ( 31 minutes ago )