Meat companies around the United States have closed temporarily as the coronavirus spreads among employees and plants worry about health concerns.

JBS USA reported it would close a beef plant in Colorado until April 24. The plant is responsible for about 5% of total daily United States beef slaughter, with 5,400 cattle a day. Smithfield Foods was forced to close after employees reported cases of coronavirus that accounted for a significant number of reported cases in South Dakota. And Tyson Foods in Iowa closed a slaughterhouse after 24 cases of COVID-19 were reported by employees. According to Reuters, 7 major meat production facilities in the United States closed or reduced production in the pandemic.

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Plants that are staying open are using infrared scanners to test employees for fever, a common COVID-19 symptom. Because meat production facilities are made up of large numbers of employees in close quarters, the virus has been easily transmitted in plants. Many plants have been accused of making employees come to work sick, not encouraging social distancing or having lax disinfecting policies during the pandemic.

Three people that worked at a Tyson plant in Georgia have died of the coronavirus. Annie Grant was a Tyson employee that died and her son Willie Martin told the New York Times, “My mom said the guy at the plant said they had to work to feed America. But my mom was sick.”

Read more One Green Planet coverage of meat production and coronavirus including employees at a meat production plant during the pandemic, chickens slaughtered at a plant due to low demand and Smithfield’s plant closure.

Read more about protecting yourself from coronavirus. Check the CDC website for more information on how to protect yourself and check our latest article to learn how COVID-19 differs from the flu.

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Scientists believe that the spread of COVID-19, or coronavirus, started at an exotic animal market in Wuhan, China. You can help stop the incidence of viruses like these by signing this petition to ban the wildlife trade.

This is a good time to reconsider our intake of animal products to stay healthy. Eating more plant-based foods is known to help with chronic inflammation, heart health, mental wellbeing, fitness goals, nutritional needs, allergies, gut health and more! Dairy consumption also has been linked to many health problems, including acne, hormonal imbalance, cancer, prostate cancer and has many side effects.

Interested in joining the dairy-free and meatless train? We highly recommend downloading the Food Monster App — with over 15,000 delicious recipes it is the largest plant-based recipe resource to help reduce your environmental footprint, save animals and get healthy! And, while you are at it, we encourage you to also learn about the environmental and health benefits of a plant-based diet.

Catch up on our latest coronavirus coverage in One Green Planet, check out these articles:

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