DENVER (KDVR) – Citing 8 reported COVID-19 deaths and 340 reported positive cases at Colorado meat processing facilities, Attorney General Phil Weiser and 20 attorneys general sent a letter to the White House on Tuesday, asking for immediate action to ensure the health and safety of meat and poultry processing plant employees.
“We need mandatory and enforceable health and safety measures to protect employees at meat and poultry processing facilities. As we have witnessed in Colorado, COVID-19 outbreaks at these facilities threaten to result in wider community spread and put more lives and our food supply at risk,” said Weiser.
“There are a set of measures that should be instituted to protect these workers, address the potential spread of COVID-19, and support the goal of keeping the plants open.”
Nationwide over 10,000 COVID-19 cases and 45 worker deaths have been tied to meat processing plants.
The letter is calling for:
- Stronger, mandatory and enforceable health and safety standards
- Isolation and quarantine of COVID-19 positive workers, with full pay
- Priority testing for workers in the processing plants
- Immediate access to adequate Personal Protection Equipment
- 6-foot physical distancing where possible with plexiglass barriers where distancing cannot be achieved
- Suspension of all line speed waivers, which force employees to work faster and closer to one another
- A halt to approval of any additional waivers