New analysis of independent data for the full month of November show that reported new COVID-19 infection rates amongst meat and poultry workers were more than eight times lower than rates in the general population.
According to data from the Food and Environment Reporting Network, the meat and poultry sector was reported to have an average of 5.57 new cases per 100,000 workers per day in November. Infection rates amongst meat and poultry workers have declined steeply in the last six months, even as they surge across the United States.
The New York Times reports that during the same period, the average new case rate for the U.S. population was 45.36 cases per 100,000 people per day.
The new analysis follows the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) vote on December 20 to prioritize vaccination for frontline meat and poultry workers, joining a growing consensus that urgently vaccinating the sector’s diverse workforce is the next step for building on more than $1.5 billion in effective protection measures implemented since the spring.
"This new analysis is encouraging evidence that more than $1.5 billion in comprehensive protections implemented since the spring have reversed the pandemic’s impact on the selfless men and women who have kept Americans’ refrigerators full and our farm economy working throughout this crisis,” said Meat Institute president and chief executive officer Julie Anna Potts.