Apr 11, 2020 - Health

New FDA coronavirus guidelines focus on protecting food service workers

Photo: Braulio Jatar/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

The Food and Drug Administration has released new guidelines on best practices for supermarkets and food retailers with an emphasis on protecting employees in the workplace.

Why it matters: The FDA's new guidelines come days after major supermarkets started reporting their first employee deaths since the coronavirus outbreak began, per The Washington Post. Some critics blame major chains for not allowing workers to use protective gear from the get-go.

  • The outbreak has forced major stores to close their doors, with anxiety among employees who may have come in contact with the virus.
  • The rise in worker infections and deaths could hinder companies' ability to hire and retain grocery store workers as they try to hire temporary employees.

The new guidelines recommend: An emphasis on employers communicating with employees about any possible exposure to the coronavirus.

  • Employees should communicate with their employers if they are positive for the coronavirus, or have come in contact with somebody who is positive.
  • Employers should pre-screen workers before the start of their shifts, and employees should constantly self-monitor.
  • Workspaces and equipment should be constantly cleaned and disinfected.
  • Employees should wear masks and gloves. They should also try to stay at least 6 feet from other people whenever possible.

Go deeper: The new labor movement

Go deeper

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.

About 40.7 million Americans have filed for unemployment since the coronavirus pandemic began, including 2.1 million more claims filed from last week.

Why it matters: Even as states reopen their economies, Americans are still seeking relief. Revised data out Thursday also showed U.S. economy shrunk by an annualized 5% in the first quarter — worse than the initially estimate of 4.8%.

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 11 a.m. ET: 5,722,859 — Total deaths: 356,435 — Total recoveries — 2,374,387Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 11 a.m. ET: 1,702,911 — Total deaths: 100,576 — Total recoveries: 391,508 — Total tested: 15,192,481Map.
  3. Business: U.S. GDP drop revised lower to 5% in the first quarter — 2.1 million Americans filed for unemployment last week.
  4. States: America's megacities could lose economic growth due to remote work.
  5. 2020: Joe Biden to speak virtually at Texas Democratic Convention.
  6. ✈️Transportation: What airlines are offering passengers to ensure social distancing.
  7. What should I do? When you can be around others after contracting the coronavirus — Traveling, asthma, dishes, disinfectants and being contagiousMasks, lending books and self-isolatingExercise, laundry, what counts as soap — Pets, moving and personal healthAnswers about the virus from Axios expertsWhat to know about social distancingHow to minimize your risk.
  8. Other resources: CDC on how to avoid the virus, what to do if you get it, the right mask to wear.

Subscribe to Mike Allen's Axios AM to follow our coronavirus coverage each morning from your inbox.

Updated 7 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Mark Zuckerberg: Social networks should not be "the arbiter of truth"

Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg argued on CNBC's "Squawk Box" Thursday that social media platforms should not police political speech, and that "people should be able to see what politicians say.”

Why it matters: Zuckerberg was responding to Twitter's decision this week to fact-check a pair of President Trump's tweets that claimed that mail-in ballots are "substantially fraudulent." Twitter's label, which directs users to "get the facts" about mail-in voting, does not censor Trump's tweets.