A new analysis of independent data for 2020 shows that new COVID-19 infection rates amongst meat and poultry workers were five times lower in December than in May. Meanwhile, rates in the general population rocketed up nine times in the same period. According to data from the Food and Environment Reporting Network, the meat and poultry sector was reported to have an average of 19.91 new reported cases per 100,000 workers per day in December. That compares to an average of 98.39 new reported cases per 100,000 workers per day in May.
The New York Times reports that during the same period, the average new case rate for the U.S. population rose from 7.11 cases per 100,000 people per day in May to 63.01 cases in December. Meat Institute President and CEO Julie Anna Potts says, “This new data further demonstrates that the more than $1.5 billion spent on comprehensive protections implemented since the spring reversed the pandemic’s trajectory.”