UPDATED 9:02 AM PT — Monday, April 27, 2020
The Department of Labor doled out new safety guidelines for meatpacking and processing workers. The update was made Sunday in partnership with the CDC.
Officials said in light of multiple COVID-19 outbreaks in the industry, they are advising companies to screen workers each morning, stagger break times and stagger workers’ shift schedule. They also called for increased cleaning protocols, physical barriers between workers and mandatory face coverings.
Meat and poultry processing facilities face unique challenges to prevent and control #COVID19 transmission. CDC and @OSHA_DOL have developed guidance to help facilities decrease the spread of COVID-19. See more about how to reduce risk: https://t.co/BJ56y2GkUI pic.twitter.com/3E40mUdR8D
— CDC (@CDCgov) April 26, 2020
This came after a handful of major processing plants have been forced to close their doors in an effort to protect workers. However, one Colorado woman said the changes came too late to save her father.
“Now they have everything, now they’re spacing them, now they’re putting pictures everywhere, but it’s too late,” said Beatriz Rangel, the daughter of coronavirus victim. “I mean it’s not too late for those employees, but it’s too late for my dad…my dad is gone and nothing is going to bring him back.”
Her father, Saul Sanchez, was a 30-year employee of JBS USA beef plant in Colorado when he died earlier this month. The government hopes the new protocols will prevent future cases and deaths as a result of the virus from happening again.