Report: At least 59,000 meat workers caught COVID, 269 died

Virus Outbreak South Dakota

The Smithfield pork processing plant in Sioux Falls, S.D., is seen Wednesday, April 8, 2020, where health officials reported more than 80 employees have confirmed cases of the coronavirus (AP Photo/Stephen Groves)

OMAHA, Neb. (AP) — A U.S. House report says at least 59,000 meatpacking workers became ill with COVID-19 and 269 workers died when the virus tore through the industry last year.

The report released Wednesday shows the coronavirus hit the industry much harder than previously thought. The United Food and Commercial Workers Union earlier this week estimated 22,400 workers were sickened by the virus. With workers standing shoulder-to-shoulder along production lines, the meatpacking industry was one of the early epicenters of the coronavirus pandemic.

The House report says companies could have done more to protect their employees.

Categories: Coronavirus, National News, South Dakota News