The meat packaging industry and the poultry industry may be responsible for as much as 8% of total COVID-19 cases in the United States, according to research published Thursday by the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
In the article "Livestock and the Transmission of COVID-19," researchers from Columbia University and the University of Chicago estimated that livestock was associated with 236,000 to 310,000 cases of COVID-19 and 4,300 to 5,200 deaths on July 21 due to of extensive infection rates which then led to societal transmission.
The study showed that working in livestock processing facilities makes workers more susceptible to respiratory outbreaks due to long shifts in the vicinity of employees, the challenge of proper face protection due to physical demands on the job and shared transport between colleagues.
In addition, the low temperature and low humidity of plants necessary for preserving meat also contribute to the transmission of airborne viruses, the researchers and the socio-economic status of workers found make them more likely to work while ill.
Plant size also appeared to have an impact on the spread of coronavirus, with larger plants associated with the highest percentage of transmission, while small and medium-sized plants did not have a significant relationship to society's spread of the virus. Temporary closure of high-risk plants also led to lower COVID-1
The researchers said their findings underscore the need to address "the underlying factors that produced this systemic system. In the first place" to strengthen the US food system during the current pandemic and during future disruptions.  More news on insurance and work compensation on the coronavirus crisis here .