Apr 11, 2020 - Economy & Business

Coronavirus outbreaks plague meatpacking plants

Photo: Aaron Ontiveroz/MediaNews Group/The Denver Post via Getty Images

Hundreds of workers at meat plants across the United States have reported they contracted the coronavirus this past week, Bloomberg reports.

Why it matters: Concerns over worker safety continue to rise across the country, but the uptick in confirmed cases also raises questions about the fragility of the food supply chain.

By the numbers: Up to 50 people at a JBS SA beef facility in Colorado tested positive, on top of another 160 cases at a Cargill Inc. meatpacking plant in Pennsylvania, union officials announced Friday, per Bloomberg.

  • South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem confirmed Friday there are more than 190 cases at Smithfield Foods Inc, AP reports.

The big picture: Millions of Americans don't have the luxury of working from home, and essential food workers keep working so consumers can keep eating.

  • Social distancing can be difficult for workers who stand close together on processing lines, and those who share locker and break rooms.

Go deeper: The coronavirus pandemic threatens low-wage jobs

Go deeper

Coronavirus cases spike in Texas, Oregon and Arizona

Data: The COVID Tracking Project, state health departments; Map: Andrew Witherspoon, Sara Wise, Naema Ahmed/Axios

Texas, Arizona and Oregon saw significant spikes last week in new coronavirus infections, while cases also continued to climb in a handful of states where steady increases have become the norm.

Why it matters: Nationwide, new cases have plateaued over the past week. To get through this crisis and safely continue getting back out into the world, we need them to go down — a lot.

Updated 17 hours ago - Health

U.S. coronavirus updates

Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins; Map: Andrew Witherspoon/Axios. This graphic includes "probable deaths" that New York City began reporting on April 14.

The Department of Health and Human Services moved on Thursday to require that an individual's race, ethnicity, age and sex be submitted to the agency with novel coronavirus test results.

Why it matters: Some cities and states have reported the virus is killing black people at disproportionately high rates. There are gaps in the national picture of how many people of color are affected, since the data has not been a requirement for states to collect or disclose.

Updated 2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 11 a.m. ET: 6,672,287 — Total deaths: 391,848 — Total recoveries — 2,895,167Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 11 a.m. ET: 1,875,402 — Total deaths: 108,278 — Total recoveries: 485,002 — Total tested: 18,680,529Map.
  3. Public health: Jailing practices contribute to spread.
  4. States: Cities are retooling public transit to lure riders back.
  5. Jobs: Unemployment rate falls to 13.3% in May — Explaining a surprise jobs report.
  6. Sports: How coronavirus could reshuffle the sports calendar.