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Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

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Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images

Nearly 5,000 coronavirus cases and 20 deaths have occurred in 115 meat and poultry processing facilities across the U.S., data from Centers for Disease Control and Prevention show.

Why it matters: The federal government has ordered meatpacking plants to remain open to keep America's food supply chain intact. But the data reveal worker safety is jeopardized when companies don't drastically change the work culture and provide protective equipment.

  • Many of the employees are low-income and are not offered paid sick leave or health benefits, which encourages employees to come to work sick.
  • The facilities with the largest outbreaks failed at providing adequate space for workers or had workers who found covering their faces difficult to adequately do their job.

Driving the news: The CDC released guidance Friday encouraging facilities to ax bonuses or wage incentives for workers based on attendance. It also recommended:

  • The production line should also be altered to improve physical distancing, hand hygiene, cleaning and disinfection for "high-touch" areas like doorknobs and handles.
  • Facilities should provide materials in languages spoken by their workers.

The big picture: High concentrations of cases have been found in meatpacking plants, long-term care facilities, correctional facilities and homeless shelters due to their enclosed environments and operational structures.

Go deeper: Coronavirus breaks the food supply chain

Go deeper

Updated Aug 10, 2020 - World

PM prepares for "COVID election" as NZ marks 100 days of no community spread

New Zealand's Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern attends the launch of the Labour Party's election campaign in Auckland on Saturday. Photo: Michael Bradley/AFP via Getty Images

AUCKLAND, New Zealand — New Zealand has now gone 100 days with no detected community spread of COVID-19, the Ministry of Health confirmed in an emailed statement Sunday.

Why It Matters: New Zealanders are going to the polls on Sept. 19. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has been widely praised for her leadership that saw NZ lock down hard for several weeks before all domestic restrictions were lifted in June. She sees her government's response to and recovery from the coronavirus outbreak as key to her Labour Party being re-elected.

Updated Oct 7, 2020 - Health

World coronavirus updates

Expand chart
Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins; Map: Axios Visuals

New Zealand now has active no coronavirus cases in the community after the final six people linked to the Auckland cluster recovered, the country's Health Ministry confirmed in an email Wednesday.

The big picture: The country's second outbreak won't officially be declared closed until there have been "no new cases for two incubation periods," the ministry said. Auckland will join the rest of NZ in enjoying no domestic restrictions from late Wednesday, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said, declaring that NZ had "beat the virus again."

Updated Aug 9, 2020 - Politics & Policy

Republicans and Democrats react to Trump's coronavirus aid action

President Trump speaks to workers at a manufacturing facility in Clyde, Ohio, on Thursday. Photo: Scott Olson/Getty Images

Some Republicans joined Democrats in criticizing President Trump Saturday night for taking executive action on coronavirus aid, with Democratic leaders demanding the GOP return to negotiations after stimulus package talks broke down a day earlier.

Why it matters: Trump could face legal challenges on his ability to act without congressional approval, where the constitutional power lies on federal spending. Sen. Ben Sasse (R-Neb.) was the most vocal Republican critic, saying in a statement: "The pen-and-phone theory of executive lawmaking is unconstitutional slop."