Updated: May 18, 2020
the Food Industry
Reopening Impact Won’t Be Known for Weeks.
While states across the U.S. are reopening businesses, some regions’ COVID-19 case counts seem to remain stable. But that stability is deceiving. The truth is, we will not know the real impact of new social behavior changes for at least another 2 to 3 weeks.
Why’s that? The time between a person becoming infected and showing symptoms can be between 2 to 14 days, during which, the person will be infectious to others (even if they don’t show symptoms). And even once symptoms begin to show, most will not seek medical attention, or be tested in the U.S., until symptoms become more severe. As explained in a recent Atlantic article, the U.S. does not conduct proactive testing and contact tracing; instead, it relies on identifying cases only when people become ill enough to seek treatment, which can take weeks after exposure. Even in countries with programs for testing, tracing, and swift isolation providing closer to real-time information, all have experienced an uptick in new cases after reopening.
What does this mean for the food industry? It means that food companies need to continue to hold course to protect your employees at both manufacturing and your corporate/office levels.
Keep conducting wellness checks, employing social distancing measures, providing enhanced cleaning and sanitation, and wearing masks. Keep doing all the things that TAG has been highlighting since February.
As of May 18, 2020 (09:34 ET), there are over 4,737,000 cases (>315,000 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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