Updated: April 29, 2020
TAG has received questions on close contact recommendations when an employee is diagnosed with COVID-19, but both the person diagnosed and the close contact(s) were wearing masks. TAG recommends that the same policy still be followed (close contact self-quarantining for 14 days) as infection could still have occurred. It is for this reason that the six-foot social distancing is critical even when masks are worn.
Your workforce and employees are the backbone of all businesses. It is imperative to instill measures to protect one’s workforce.
TAG reflects on the recent Executive Order to keep meat and poultry processing plants open.
Ensure your workforce has the ability to take care of their mental health (including associated anxiety) in this trying time. The CDC has provided Stress and Coping recommendations.
the Food Industry
Striking the Right Balance in U.S. Meat and Poultry
On Tuesday, April 28, President Trump invoked the Defense Production Act in an executive order designating meat and poultry as meeting the criteria of “critical and strategic materials”. The order stipulated that “the Secretary of Agriculture shall take all appropriate action under that section to ensure that meat and poultry processors continue operations consistent with the guidance for their operations jointly issued by the CDC and OSHA.” Intended to ensure a continued supply of protein and reduce “unnecessary” closures which can significantly impact the food supply chain, the order applies to all U.S. meat and poultry plants.
While it is important to protect the meat supply chain, it is critical that processors strike a balance between continuing food production and protecting worker health. Employees are your greatest asset, and if businesses highlight staying open ahead of employees’ health, they may soon find that they will not have a workforce left to produce the food.
With the concession of the order that meat and poultry processors continue operations consistent with the guidance issued by CDC and OSHA, there appears to be the flexibility for businesses and processors to use their best judgment for striking the right balance, thus protecting both workers and the meat and poultry supply.
TAG has been working with many companies throughout the food industry to assist and support them in striking such a balance. Give us a call to help you too.
Everyone should practice social distancing (more specifically, physical distancing), not only those who are ill or at higher-risk (e.g. older individuals, pre-existing conditions) but also among healthy individuals so we may "flatten the curve".
Please feel free to use this free poster at your establishment. Please email us (email@example.com) for a copy of this poster (English, Spanish, Portuguese, French, and Chinese - simplified, traditional are available).
As of April 29, 2020 (11:43 ET), there are >3,141,900 cases (>218,000 deaths) worldwide.
Due to the increasing number of cases in the United States, TAG will move from reporting counts per country to focus on the United States, please see here for the data. For further information regarding worldwide numbers, please refer to John Hopkin University’s aggregate map.
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