North American meat plants are concerned about a resurgence of the pandemic among their workers

Meatpackers across North America are concerned about a resurgence of coronavirus cases, trying to avoid the shutdowns that left supermarket shelves empty earlier in the pandemic. Cargill has temporarily closed one of its beef plants in Canada after some employees tested positive. JBS sent 5,000 of its vulnerable U.S. workers home on paid leave. Sanderson Farms sees infections rising among its workers as cases increase in Texas, Mississippi, Georgia, the Carolinas, and Louisiana. Companies are better prepared, having spent millions of dollars to reconfigure factories, implement social distancing, and distribute the protective equipment workers need to stay safe while keeping the food supply chain running. Tyson spent $540 million to adapt its U.S. facilities in 2020, JBS invested more than $200 million in health and safety measures and over $160 million to pay higher wages. Smithfield has invested more than $700 million in extensive efforts aimed at Covid-19 prevention.  The U.S. meat industry wants its workers to be among the top priority for vaccines. @


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