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12:08 PM 6/25/2020 – US Senators grill meatpackers | Meat factory Covid-19 outbreaks linked to canteens and car-sharing, says Minister

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12:08 PM 6/25/2020

US Senators grill meatpackers | Meat factory Covid-19 outbreaks linked to canteens and car-sharing, says Minister
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mikenov on Twitter: US Senators grill meatpackers over exports to China during coronavirus crisis – The Cattle Site thecattlesite.com/news/55507/us-
Saved Stories – Disease X-19: Google Alert – covid-19 in meat plants workers: Meat factory Covid-19 outbreaks linked to canteens and car-sharing, says Minister
Saved Stories – Disease X-19: Google Alert – covid-19 in meat plants: Meat processing plant Covid-19 outbreaks like at Kober in Yorkshire linked to canteens and car …
mikenov on Twitter: Meat processing plant Covid-19 outbreaks like at Kober in Yorkshire linked to canteens and car-sharing, says George Eustice | Yorkshire Post yorkshirepost.co.uk/health/coronav
Saved Stories – Disease X-19: Google Alert – covid-19 in meat plants workers: Meat processing plant Covid-19 outbreaks like at Kober in Yorkshire linked to canteens and car …
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Google Alert – covid-19 in meat plants workers: Meat factory Covid-19 outbreaks linked to canteens and car-sharing, says Minister
US Senators grill meatpackers over exports to China during coronavirus crisis
Google Alert – covid-19 in meat plants workers: US Senators grill meatpackers over exports to China during coronavirus crisis
Meat processing plant Covid-19 outbreaks like at Kober in Yorkshire linked to canteens and car-sharing, says George Eustice
The first coronavirus wave isn’t overand it’s getting worse
Germany slaughterhouse outbreak brings police, mass testing
Disease X-19: Google Alert covid-19 and pork: US agents seize nearly 10 tonnes of illegal meat at California port
Google Alert – covid-19 and pork: US agents seize nearly 10 tonnes of illegal meat at California port
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Michael_Novakhov shared this story from Disease X-19 Epidemiology from Michael_Novakhov (39 sites).

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Google Alert – covid-19 in meat plants workers: Meat factory Covid-19 outbreaks linked to canteens and car-sharing, says Minister

Michael_Novakhov shared this story from Disease X-19 Epidemiology from Michael_Novakhov (39 sites).

Three workers also died from coronavirus after a small outbreak at a meat processing plant in Barnsley last month. Eleven workers were diagnosed …
 Google Alert – covid-19 in meat plants workers

US Senators grill meatpackers over exports to China during coronavirus crisis

Michael_Novakhov shared this story from TheCattleSite – Global Industry News Feeds.

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US Senators grill meatpackers over exports to China during coronavirus crisis

25 June 2020Two Senate Democrats are questioning Americas top meatpackers to disclose how much pork, beef and chicken they shipped to China during the coronavirus outbreak before the end of the month.
Reuters reports that the companies were exporting meat while warning US officials and the wider public of possible meat shortages at home.
The request came from Senators Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts and Cory Booker of New Jersey. The increased scrutiny of meatpacking giants like JBS USATyson Foods and Smithfield Foods comes after thousands of meat plant workers were infected with COVID-19.

USDA data indicates that the companies exported some 112,327 tonnes of US pork to China in April, more than any previous month and a 257 percent increase from 2019.
The exports raise questions about why US meat prices skyrocketed during the pandemic and President Trump ordered slaughterhouses to remain open to protect the nationals food supply. The claims came from a letter Warren and Booker sent to executives at Tyson, JBS, Smithfield and Cargill Inc.
Reuters reported on May 11 that Trump, a Republican, was facing criticism from some lawmakers, consumers and plant employees for putting workers at risk in part to help ensure China’s meat supply.
“This pattern of behaviour raises questions about whether you are living up to your commitments to the workers who produce your pork and beef; the communities in which you operate, and the nation’s consumers that rely on your products to feed their families,” Warren and Booker told the meat companies.
Tyson and JBS have said they reduced exports to focus on meeting domestic demand. Smithfield retooled a plant to supply US consumers, a year after workers said the company reconfigured the same facility to process hogs for China. Cargill said it does not export US meat and poultry to China.
China’s demand for meat imports increased after a fatal pig disease decimated its herd and sent Chinese pork prices to record highs.
Read more about this story here.

Google Alert – covid-19 in meat plants workers: US Senators grill meatpackers over exports to China during coronavirus crisis

Michael_Novakhov shared this story from Disease X-19 Epidemiology from Michael_Novakhov (39 sites).

… of meatpacking giants like JBS USA, Tyson Foods and Smithfield Foods comes after thousands of meat plant workers were infected with COVID19.
 Google Alert – covid-19 in meat plants workers

Meat processing plant Covid-19 outbreaks like at Kober in Yorkshire linked to canteens and car-sharing, says George Eustice

Michael_Novakhov shared this story from Yorkshire Post.

Outbreaks of Covid-19 at meat processing factories in England and Wales are thought to be linked to canteens and car-sharing schemes, the Environment Secretary has said.

Thursday, 25th June 2020, 1:11 pm
George Eustice told the Commons that the Government will issue new guidance to plants to try to stop further spread.
A meat processing site owned by Asda in Cleckheaton last week became the third food plant in 48 hours to confirm an outbreak after about 150 workers fell ill with the virus. The Kober plant, which supplies bacon to Asda supermarkets and employs more than 500 people, has closed until this week with a test-and-trace programme under way.
Three workers also died from coronavirus after a small outbreak at a meat processing plant in Barnsley last month. Eleven workers were diagnosed with the virus and seven were hospitalised at Cranswick Convenience Foods in Wombwell.

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On Tuesday, Prime Minister Boris Johnson said the Government is investigating the cause, while chief scientific adviser Sir Patrick Vallance said the cold environment in such factories could be a factor.
In Germany, Europe’s largest meat processing plant suffered a Covid-19 outbreak which resulted in approximately 7,000 people being quarantined.
During Environment Questions, Labour’s Luke Pollard asked whether statutory sick pay is high enough to ensure people do not feel compelled to work even if they are ill.
Responding, Mr Eustice said: “We have had now three outbreaks linked to meat plants. These have been picked up through the testing and tracing approach that has been adopted, and we are reviewing the guidance.
“We suspect that these outbreaks might have been linked either to canteens or potentially to car-sharing arrangements in those plants.
“And we will be revising guidance to ensure that businesses have the approach that they need to prevent further outbreaks in the future.”
During the same session in the Commons, Huddersfield MP Barry Sheerman returned to the topic of meat processing plants.
He asked Mr Eustice: “Does he agree that the future of British agriculture and the British food industry has to be based on quality and shorter supply chains as we come out of this pandemic?
“Will he join me in calling for an investigation into what is happening in our meat processing plants? Some of them look rather strange.
“In the four that I have looked at, many of the workers are reluctant to take a test because they would lose money and be isolated. That is a real problem. Could he look into it?”
Mr Eustice responded: “I agree with the hon. Gentleman that this country has built a proud record based on the quality of our food and food provenance in particular, and we will maintain that.
“On the specific point that he raises about outbreaks of coronavirus at three meat plants, we are looking at that and have been investigating the causes of it. We suspect, as I said earlier, that it is linked either to shared transport or canteen areas, and new guidance will be issued to those meat plants.”
The first coronavirus wave isn’t overand it’s getting worse

Michael_Novakhov shared this story .

Last week, in the op-ed pages of the Wall Street Journal, Vice President Mike Pence made a highly misleading claim: There is no second wave of coronavirus in the United States, he wrote, and the Trump administration is winning the war against the invisible enemy.
Epidemiologists mostly agree on the first pointalthough not for the reason that Pence gave.
He was completely right that were not in the second wave, says Ashish Jha, Director of the Harvard Global Health Institute. This is not a second wave, because were still in the first wave.
At the national level, the number of new cases seemed to peak in April and decreased throughout May. But in fact, much of the decline was driven by the New York metropolitan area, previously the epicenter of the U.S. outbreak. In states that neglected social-distancing guidelines, the coronavirus continued to spread.
Now, confirmed cases of COVID-19 are rising in 26 states, weeks after parts of the country began to reopen. Hotspots including Arizona, Texas, and Florida are reporting thousands of new infections. On Wednesday, the country recorded its highest single-day total of new cases: 38,115.
Fast Company spoke to four epidemiologists to get a better understanding of Americas ongoing battle with coronavirus. The overall consensus was chilling: Despite more than 2.3 million confirmed infections and 120,000 deaths, few states are taking the necessary steps to halt the spread of the virus. A recent University of Washington study expects more than 200,000 people in the U.S. will lose their lives to COVID-19 by October 1.
We may feel like were done with the pandemic, says Jha, but the pandemic, unfortunately, is not done with us.

The wave fallacy

The concept of virus waves can be useful in epidemiology. Certain infectious diseases do exhibit seasonality, such as influenza, which tends to spread between fall and winter, with an initial spike in December and then a much larger one in February. There were also noticeable waves in the Spanish flu pandemic, which featured at least three distinct peaks in the United States. The second, more deadly wave hit in the fall of 1918.
Its possible that COVID-19 will follow a similar trajectory. Research suggests that warmer weatherespecially combined with mask-wearingis correlated with reduced transmission. As the return of cold weather forces more people inside, making social distancing harder, scientists expect that cases will rise. Theres no question in my mind that the number of cases will start climbing just from people spending more time indoors, predicts Jha.
But seasonal factors are just one part of the picture. Government policies, travel restrictions, social distancing, and mask-wearing have significant effects, tooand they all interact in complex, unpredictable ways. Particularly in the United States, where every region has different health policies, it is hard to say where one wave ends and another begins.
The second wave is, as far as Im concerned, a suspicious concept, says Dr. Ali Khan, former director of the Office of Public Health Preparedness and Response at the CDC and author of The Next Pandemic. COVID-19 is not influenza, its Ebola, he continues, referring to the hemorrhagic fever that periodically terrorizes sub-Saharan Africa.
The comparison is an instructive one. As with Ebola, he says, new cases dont necessarily indicate a second wave but rather an incidence of failed public health, where you have lost the chain of transmission and have been unable to get the condition taken care of.
Khan points to China, a country that reported zero cases of COVID-19 for three weeks and then discovered an outbreak of 183 new infections. Everybodys going look at Chinas second wave!’ he says. And Im going, really? A hundred cases among 1.3 billion people? Second wave? I dont think so.

We have been unable to attain containment of this disease. Now were rolling back down the hill.

Dr. Ali Khan

Perhaps a better metaphor for the spread of COVID-19 is illustrated by the virus itself. Under a microscope, MERS-CoV looks like a smooth, round particle studded with clubbed spikes of various lengths. Like the virus, the lifecycle of the coronavirus pandemic is likely to feature numerous spikes of differing duration and intensity. For epidemiologists, its vital that the public have clear expectations for how the virus circulatesand what it will take to stop it.
Unfortunately, politics has muddled the national conversation about coronavirus. Many state governors, eager to reopen their economies, seized on declining cases in May to justify loosening restrictions at the end of last month. Some have been encouraged by studies that underscore the disinfecting power of sunlight. Others have effectively given up on the idea of containment altogether.
Public health officials appreciate that countries cannot remain locked down forever. An alternative strategy proposes alternating periods of virus suppression and relaxation until a vaccine is available, keeping transmission at manageable levels without strangling local economies. One study, backed by the European Union, suggests countries impose strict rules for 50 days, followed by 30 days of less intense mitigation tactics that allow people to shop, dine, and work. If and when cases begin to rise again, restrictions could be put back in place.
But Americas first wave of coronavirus never endedand in some states is only just beginning. While the New York area began to crush the curve, driving the national trend downward, a surge of new cases was being detected across the South and Southwest. This week, that number hit a new high in the U.S., surpassing the single-day record set in late April.
People have used the word plateau. I find the word plateau to be inadequate, says Dr. Khan. We have been unable to attain containment of this disease. Now were rolling back down the hill.

The long haul

Experts largely agree on the goals for virus suppression. Until we have safe and effective vaccine that everyone takes, what needs to happen is we try and sustain this low level of transmission, which I think is a balancing act, says Wafaa El-Sadr, an infectious disease specialist at Columbia University. She says that will involve wearing masks and limiting social contacts consistently. But she worries that, thanks to disinformation like Pences op-ed, public health messaging has become politicized.

Theres this pitting of public health against economic health, but we dont want to pit those against each other, she says. Its vital that people are able to get back to work, she says, but they need to wear face coverings and keep an appropriate distance from colleagues. We need these public health measures, we need to sustain them as much as possible until we have a vaccine, she says.
Most of the recommendations from epidemiologists are simple: Wash hands frequently, wear masks when out in public, and only leave the house if you have to. Its all about, what can you do to reduce risks? says Jha.

Weve got to get away from thinking about first and second wave and instead think about what is really happening on the ground.

Dr. Steffanie Strathdee

In the absence of federal leadership, however, states have been left to fend for themselvesleading to a patchwork of regional protocols that can vary substantially. New Yorkers, for instance, are required to wear masks when they are not able to put six feet of distance between themselves and others. Coloradans are only required to wear face coverings if they are essential workers. In Arizona, the governor only recently allowed local governments to mandate masksand many people are ignoring the rules altogether.
Weve got to get away from thinking about first and second wave and instead think about what is really happening on the ground, says Steffanie Strathdee, associate dean at University of California San Diego School of Medicine and author of The Perfect Predator, a book about antibiotic-resistant superbugs.
But tracking the virus has proved more challenging than it should be. Both Georgia and Florida, among other states, have both been accused of fudging or misrepresenting their coronavirus data. At the federal level, President Trump has said repeatedly that he would like to do less testing in order to find fewer cases. His administration reportedly plans to end funding for many COVID-19 testing sites this month.
Experts like Strathdee say its imperative that the CDC require states to report new cases in a specific and uniform way, so that the public can respond accordingly. That, she says, could help people to better understand the epidemiology of the virus as a series of spikes rather than a single wave. And she still holds onto hope that U.S. politicians will adopt a more aggressive national strategy, including contact tracing, which has helped to contain the virus in parts of East Asia and Europe.

Lets face it, this virus is not going away, she sighs. Its going to get worse before it gets better.
Germany slaughterhouse outbreak brings police, mass testing

Michael_Novakhov shared this story .

Frank Jordans and Mstyslav Chernov, Associated Press
Updated
  • An activist of the animal protection organization Peta disguised as death stands in front of a delivery entrance of the meat and sausage manufacturer Schulte in Dissen, Germany, Thursday, June 25, 2020. Schulte

    An activist of the animal protection organization Peta disguised as death stands in front of a delivery entrance of the meat and sausage manufacturer Schulte in Dissen, Germany, Thursday, June 25, 2020. Schulte belongs to the Tönnies Group. Under the motto “Slaughterhouses: Deadly for humans and animals”, Peta wants to draw attention to the conditions in meat factories after the outbreak of the coronavirus at meat producers. (Friso Gentsch/dpa via AP)

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    An activist of the animal protection organization Peta disguised as death stands in front of a delivery entrance of the meat and sausage manufacturer Schulte in Dissen, Germany, Thursday, June 25, 2020. Schulte

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    Photo: Friso Gentsch, AP

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  • Employees of a grocery store deliver ordered products in plastic bags to residents of apartment buildings  that are partly under quarntine due to a new coronavirus outbreak in Verl, Germany, Wednesday, June 24, 2020. After the new  coronavirus outbreak at the meat processor Tönnies in the city of Rheda-Wiedenbrueck, the authorities imposed a lockdown also for the city of Gütersloh and the neighbouring district. (David Inderlied/dpa via AP) Photo: David Inderlied, AP / (c) Copyright 2020, dpa (www.dpa.de). Alle Rechte vorbehalten

    Employees of a grocery store deliver ordered products in plastic bags to residents of apartment buildings that are partly under quarntine due to a new coronavirus outbreak in Verl, Germany, Wednesday, June 24, 2020. After the new coronavirus outbreak at the meat processor Tönnies in the city of Rheda-Wiedenbrueck, the authorities imposed a lockdown also for the city of Gütersloh and the neighbouring district. (David Inderlied/dpa via AP)

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    Employees of a grocery store deliver ordered products in plastic bags to residents of apartment buildings that are partly under quarntine due to a new coronavirus outbreak in Verl, Germany, Wednesday, June 24,

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    Photo: David Inderlied, AP

  • In this picture taken with a drone apartment buildings partly under quarntine due to a new coronavirus outbreak are seen in Verl, Germany, Wednesday, June 24, 2020. After the new  coronavirus outbreak at the

    In this picture taken with a drone apartment buildings partly under quarntine due to a new coronavirus outbreak are seen in Verl, Germany, Wednesday, June 24, 2020. After the new coronavirus outbreak at the meat processor Tönnies in the city of Rheda-Wiedenbrueck, the authorities imposed a lockdown also for the city of Gütersloh and the neighbouring district. (David Inderlied/dpa via AP)

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    In this picture taken with a drone apartment buildings partly under quarntine due to a new coronavirus outbreak are seen in Verl, Germany, Wednesday, June 24, 2020. After the new coronavirus outbreak at the

     … more

    Photo: David Inderlied, AP

  • window._taboola = window._taboola || []; _taboola.push({ mode: ‘thumbnails-c’, container: ‘taboola-interstitial-gallery-thumbnails-3’, placement: ‘Interstitial Gallery Thumbnails 3’, target_type: ‘mix’ }); _taboola.push({flush: true});
Photo: David Inderlied, AP

Employees of a grocery store deliver ordered products in plastic bags to residents of apartment buildings that are partly under quarntine due to a new coronavirus outbreak in Verl, Germany, Wednesday, June 24, 2020. After the new coronavirus outbreak at the meat processor Tönnies in the city of Rheda-Wiedenbrueck, the authorities imposed a lockdown also for the city of Gütersloh and the neighbouring district. (David Inderlied/dpa via AP)

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Employees of a grocery store deliver ordered products in plastic bags to residents of apartment buildings that are partly under quarntine due to a new coronavirus outbreak in Verl, Germany, Wednesday, June 24,

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Photo: David Inderlied, AP

Germany slaughterhouse outbreak brings police, mass testing

VERL, Germany (AP) German police deployed hundreds of officers Thursday across two western regions that have been placed under a renewed pandemic lockdown in an attempt to contain a coronavirus outbreak linked to a slaughterhouse.
Swathed in white protective gear, officers accompanied local council workers making house calls on people who were under quarantine to make sure they were at home.
Some of the checked-on individuals worked at the large slaughterhouse that has had about 1,300 people test positive for COVID-19. But caught in the same net – or rather, behind steel barricades erected by authorities – were workers at other local companies who happen to live in the same apartment buildings as those from the slaughterhouse owned by the Toennies Group, Germanys biggest meat processing company.

Many are migrants from Eastern Europe who come to Germany legally in the hope of earning many times what they might make in their home countries. Now, they rely on food delivered by their companies or help from friendly neighbors such as Aved Elias, who brought trolleys full of goods to quarantined residents Wednesday.
At the moment, we’re not thinking about business, he said. We’re just thinking about the people. Everything else is secondary.

Elias’ comment reflect widespread sympathy in the city of Guetersloh for the migrant workers, whose often dire workplace and living conditions have been put in the spotlight by the coronavirus outbreak. Like other companies in the German meat industry, Toennies has long used subcontractors for much of the work in its plants, a practice that critics say allows the company to avoid the stricter oversight it would face if it employed workers directly.

North Rhine-Westphalia state governor Armin Laschet, whose center-right party has received significant donations from Toennies over the years, acknowledged this week that the company’s readiness to cooperate could have been greater.
Officials on Thursday announced the opening of five new coronavirus testing centers in Guetersloh, where the slaughterhouse is located.
Sven-Georg Adenauer, the head of the regional administration, said authorities want to be able to conduct 10,000 tests per day, free of charge.
The service is expected to be widely used as some regions of Germany have said they’ll only allow people from the two districts to visit if they can provide proof of a negative test. Authorities warned those seeking a test to expect long waiting times, and urged them to bring sunscreen and water.
So far, there is little sign of widespread community transmission, officials say.
Overall, Germany has confirmed more than 193,000 cases of COVID-19 since the start of the pandemic, and 8,936 deaths, according to a tally by Johns Hopkins University.
The number of new daily cases had dropped significantly in recent weeks until the outbreak at Toennies and several smaller clusters cropped up.
German Health Minister Jens Spahn said Thursday that it was important that every outbreak, every chain of infection is quickly interrupted.
I know this is hard for the citizens in the affected counties to have these restrictions again, but in the end its necessary,” Spahn told reporters on the sidelines of a visit to the World Health Organization in Geneva. “For the protection of people there and for the protection of people everywhere in Germany.
___
Frank Jordans reported from Berlin. Jamey Keaten in Geneva contributed to this report.
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Disease X-19: Google Alert covid-19 and pork: US agents seize nearly 10 tonnes of illegal meat at California port

Michael_Novakhov shared this story from Covid-19 Review: The Pandemic As The Bio-Info-Weapon.

Disease X-19: Google Alert – covid-19 and pork: US agents seize nearly 10 tonnes of illegal meat at California port 

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