COVID-19 at Meat and Poultry Processing Facilities
In late April, OSHA and CDC published joint interim guidance intended to protect workers at meat and poultry processing facilities from exposure to COVID-19. A subsequent CDC report of facilities across 19 states quantified the extent of disease spread at these workplaces between April 9 and April 27. The report identified several challenges to effective prevention and control of COVID-19 at the facilities, such as difficulty imposing distance between workers and implementing disinfection guidelines for the disease. Information from the report is presented below.
From “COVID-19 Among Workers in Meat and Poultry Processing Facilities—19 States, April 2020”: “Facility challenges included structural and operational practices that made it difficult to maintain a 6-foot distance while working, especially on production lines…. The pace and physical demands of processing work made adherence to face covering recommendations difficult, with some workers observed covering only their mouths and frequently readjusting their face coverings while working.”


CDC: Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, “COVID-19 Among Workers in Meat and Poultry Processing Facilities—19 States, April 2020 (May 2020).
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In August, The Knoxville News Sentinel reported that a student intern and a researcher at Oak Ridge Associated Universities had devised an experiment to replicate the McCluskey incident in order to study the effects of radiation on the body. By irradiating vials of their own blood for different lengths of time, the researchers hope to generate data that clinicians and first responders can refer to following an exposure incident.

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