Who is reporting on COVID-19 in California meat packing plants?

By Roger Straw, May 8, 2020

Are the midwestern superclusters coming our way anytime soon?

File image of meat processing plant (KOIN)

Meat Packing Plants

I did a little digging on meat packing plants in California…  Here’s a Google map of meat our packing plants.

I didn’t spend much time looking into plants nearest to the Bay Area as yet.  I ran out of time because my eye was caught by recent headlines about one CA plant – Central Valley Meat Company in Hanford CA (Kings County).  On May 7, the Associated Press reported that At least 138 employees contracted COVID-19 at California meat packaging plant.

HANFORD, Calif. (AP) — At least 138 employees at a meat packing plant in central California have tested positive for the coronavirus.

Reports say several employees at the Central Valley Meat Company in Hanford first tested positive for the virus more than a week ago.

Kings County Supervisor Doug Verboon said the meat packing plant now accounts for nearly two-thirds of the coronavirus cases in the rural county. The company employs about 900 workers at two plants in Hanford and Vernon and continues to operate.

Company officials say they are following CDC guidelines to keep their employees safe.

The Kings County website is not sharing any information on locations of outbreaks, but most of the cases are clearly related to Central Valley Meat, located in Hanford.  See the charts below (from the Kings Co. website on May 8, and note how the Kings curve is shooting out of sight!The Central Valley Meat website gives no information on the infection. But the website displays the following message as a delayed overlay to the front page, all but ordering employees to show up.

Central Valley Meat    In light of the Coronavirus pandemic and the new statewide “shelter in place” order from California’s governor, we want to remind all Central Valley Meat Company employees as well as our customers and consuming public that Central Valley Meat Company is considered an “essential business”. Because Central Valley Meat is an important component of the food supply chain all employees are asked to report to work for their normal shift and times. We are also hiring additional workers and we encourage those seeking work to apply at https://www.centralvalleymeat.com/careers

National context and background

MSNBC’S Lawrence O’Donnell reports on meat packers, prisons and nursing homes…

California journalists and reporters need to better investigate the COVID-19 effects in our meat packing plants, prisons and nursing homes.