Photos: Charlie Riedel/AP (L); Brent Stirton/Getty Images

The people who grow, process and keep food stocked on shelves are doing heroic work in these conditions, often for bottom-barrel pay.

Why it matters: Millions of Americans don't have the luxury of working from home, and it's essential that food workers keep working so we can keep eating.

  • Undocumented immigrants are a big share of America's farm labor workforce, particularly for fruits and vegetables.
  • They often work and live in conditions that make social distancing difficult, and they rarely have good health care access or paid sick leave. They are also ineligible for the bailout protections that recently passed.
  • “You can’t pick strawberries over Zoom," Lucas Zucker, a workers' advocate, told the L.A. Times.

In the food processing world:

  • Grand Island, Nebraska: 10 workers have tested positive at a beef packing plant. (Grand Island Independent)
  • Columbus Junction, Iowa: Hog slaughterhouse closed after 24 workers tested positive. (Reuters)
  • Pennsylvania: Empire Kosher Poultry, the biggest kosher chicken supplier in America, temporarily closed after some workers tested positive. (WSJ)
  • Moultrie, Georgia: Sanderson Farms, a chicken company, reduced its staffing as a precautionary move. (WSJ)

And at grocery stores: At least four workers nationwide have died from the virus, NBC News reports.

  • Customers often fail to keep 6 feet of distance and often don't wear gloves and masks, one grocery store worker told the AP.
  • “Most of us are terrified,” he said.

The bottom line: “I know that we are doing important work that is feeding the rest of the country," one worker told BuzzFeed News.

  • "We are essential workers that this country needs."

Special report: Health care workers vs. the coronavirus

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Updated 13 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Politics: Biden ahead in Wisconsin, Michigan as cases surge in the Midwest.
  2. Health: Fauci says U.S. may not return to normal until 2022 — Trump's testing czar: Surge "is real" and not just caused by more tests Some coronavirus survivors have "autoantibodies."
  3. Business: Consumer confidence sinking Testing is a windfall.
  4. World: Europe faces "stronger and deadlier" wave France imposes lockdown Germany to close bars and restaurants for a month.
  5. Sports: Boston Marathon delayed MLB to investigate Dodgers player who joined celebration after positive COVID test.

Deadly Hurricane Zeta slams U.S. Gulf Coast

A satellite image of Hurricane Zeta. Photo: National Hurricane Center/NOAA

Hurricane Zeta has killed at least one person after a 55-year-old man was "electrocuted by a downed power line" in Louisiana as the storm caused widespread power outages Wednesday night, per AP.

What's happening: Zeta made landfall south of New Orleans as a Category 2 hurricane earlier Wednesday before weakening to Category 1. But it was still "battering southeastern Louisiana and southern Mississippi with life-threatening storm surge, high winds, and heavy rain" late Wednesday, per the National Hurricane Center.

3 hours ago - Health

Fauci says U.S. may not return to normal until 2022

Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, Anthony Fauci, testifies during a September Senate hearing on COVID-19 in Washington, D.C. Photo: Graeme Jennings/Pool/AFP via Getty Images

NIAID director Anthony Fauci told the Journal of the American Medical Association on Wednesday he doesn't expect a COVID-19 vaccine to be ready until January 2021 or later.

What he's saying: Fauci said during the interview that the U.S. was in a "bad position" after failing to keep case numbers down post-summer. "We should have been way down in baseline and daily cases and we’re not," he said.