Guardian: A chicken processing facility in western North Carolina reportedly underwent widespread testing for Covid-19 in early June.
Workers at the plant were scared. Several employees had already tested positive and the company, Case Farms – which has been repeatedly condemned for animal treatment and workers’ rights violations – was not providing proper protective equipment.
Here's the same map, but with Sampson County circled instead of highlighted. The hotspots neighboring it are Bladen and Duplin counties. What's going on down there?? pic.twitter.com/M1018r6n6y— Elizabeth #MaskUp Sbrocco, Ph.D. ✌️♥️🌏 (@EJSbrocco) June 25, 2020
“We don’t have a lot of space at work. We are shoulder to shoulder,” said one worker, who declined to be identified, during a recent union call. “I’m afraid to go to work, but I have to go.”
On 8 June, the health department for Burke county, where the Case Farms facility is located, reported 136 new Covid cases, a 25% increase in its total caseload. Yet neither the company, county officials nor the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services would confirm whether those cases were connected to Case Farms.
The spike in cases in these counties all appear to be linked to outbreaks at meat-processing plants. Might be worth checking who donated to that sheriff's election campaign…https://t.co/8U1q21OpKK— Logan J Everett (@loganjeverett) June 25, 2020
It is just one example of the currently taut relationship between public health and the economy in North Carolina, as the number of Covid-19 cases and hospitalizations rises.
Siler City is a meatpacking town in rural North Carolina, population 8,225. Workers in the tiny town are rising up in support of Black Lives Matter, drawing connections between their treatment by ICE and systemic police brutality. @facingsouth has more: https://t.co/wRnAiL24Fj— The Counter (@TheCounter) June 30, 2020
North Carolina is one of the largest pork and poultry producing states in the US, exporting roughly $1.25bn in hogs, chickens and turkeys every year. Health departments in rural parts of the state, areas that often lean on large meatpacking or food processing facilities as primary sources of employment, have so far been tight-lipped about Covid-19 outbreaks in those plants. read more