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

An estimated 22,400 workers caught the virus
In this April 2020, photo provided by Tyson Foods, workers wear protective masks and stand between plastic dividers at the company's Camilla, Georgia poultry processing plant. Tyson has added the plastic dividers to create separation between workers because of the coronavirus outbreak. (Tyson Foods via AP)

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.

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