May 1, 2020 - Economy & Business

CDC tracked nearly 5,000 coronavirus cases in meat processing facilities

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 2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 9 p.m. ET: 6,724.516 — Total deaths: 394,018 — Total recoveries — 2,996,832Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 9 p.m. ET: 1,894,753 — Total deaths: 109,042 — Total recoveries: 491,706 — Total tested: 19,231,444Map.
  3. Public health: WHCA president says White House violated social-distancing guidelines to make reporters "a prop" — Jailing practices contribute to spread.
  4. Sports: How coronavirus could reshuffle the sports calendar.
  5. Jobs: Better-than-expected jobs report boosts stock market.
  6. Media: The Athletic lays off 8% of staff, implements company-wide pay cut.

Scoop: German foreign minister to travel to Israel with warning on annexation

Heiko Maas. Photo: Michael Kappeler/picture alliance via Getty Images

German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas is expected to travel to Israel next week to warn that there will be consequences if Israeli leaders move forward with plans to annex parts of the West Bank, Israeli officials and European diplomats tell me.

Why it matters: Israeli and European officials agree that if Israel goes ahead with unilateral annexation, the EU will respond with sanctions.

Minneapolis will ban police chokeholds following George Floyd's death

A memorial for George Floyd at the site of his death in Minneapolis. Photo: Steel Brooks/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

Minneapolis has agreed to ban the use of police chokeholds and will require nearby officers to act to stop them in the wake of George Floyd's death, AP reports.

Why it matters: The agreement between the city and the Minnesota Department of Human Rights, which has launched an investigation into Floyd's death while in police custody, will be enforceable in court.