A new study from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that food-service, agricultural, and construction workers were among the most at-risk for dying from exposure to COVID-19.
The study points out high-density workplaces in any industry are possibly high risk. The close proximity of employees in high-density workplaces creates a high risk for transmission of coronavirus disease. The high-density workplaces in food processing, food manufacturing, and agriculture employ over 3.6 million persons.
The report adds that several factors contribute to workplace and community transmission, including prolonged close contact with coworkers, congregate housing, shared transportation, and frequent community contact among workers.
Previous studies have characterized COVID-19 among meat- and poultry-processing workers. This study looked at COVID-19 among workers in other food manufacturing and agriculture workplaces and updated information on COVID-19 among meat- and poultry-processing workers.
According to the report, Hispanic or Latino, Black, and Asian/Pacific Islander workers in these workplaces might be disproportionately affected by COVID-19. Among those with COVID-19 for whom race or ethnicity data were reported, 72.8 percent were Hispanic or Latino, 6.3 percent were non-Hispanic Black, and 4.1 percent were non-Hispanic Asian/Pacific Islander. Among all food manufacturing and agriculture workers in 28 states reporting race and ethnicity data, 36.5 percent of workers are Hispanic or Latino, 52.6 percent are non-Hispanic White, 5.9 percent are non-Hispanic Black, 3.5 percent are non-Hispanic Asian/Pacific Islander and 1.5 percent are of other non-Hispanic race or ethnicity groups.
The report concludes that reducing workplace exposures is critical for protecting workers in food processing, food manufacturing, and agriculture workplaces and might help reduce health disparities among disproportionately affected populations. Adherence to …..
Read more about Ag Workers Among Those Most at Risk to COVID-19 Death on the Citrus Industry website.