Tyson Foods, one of the first national employers entrust the Covid vaccine to its workersis moving to ease mask requirements for its employees as the number of coronavirus cases in the United States drops.
The meat-packing giant said on Tuesday that fully vaccinated workers at “several facilities” could begin removing face masks at work. It joins companies like Walmart and states like New York has moved to loosen restrictions in the hope of achieving a new normal in the absence of revised national guidelines.
“Due to our many efforts, and most importantly, our enterprise-wide vaccination status, we have seen extremely low rates of Covid-19 infection, as well as an extremely low rate of serious illness, in Tyson. ,” Tom Brower, senior vice president of the company. health and safety, written in a memo to employees.
“And in recent weeks, the number of active cases at Tyson has dropped dramatically,” he added.
A Tyson spokesman said the company “has had productive and ongoing conversations with union representatives about the policy change.”
Tyson has 120,000 workers in more than a dozen Statuses. Long hours working in tight spaces make them especially vulnerable to viruses. And the company was criticized early in the pandemic for not doing enough to protect its workers from the coronavirus, which has killed more than 100 of its employees.
Slaughterhouse becomes a hot spot for the coronavirus as it spreads, posing a serious challenge to meat production. In April 2020, President Donald J. Trump said the slaughter and processing of beef, chicken, and pork is “critical infrastructure,” indicating that the administration has allow factories to remain open despite the increasing death toll among their workers. The order comes after weeks of industry lobbying led by Tyson.
Recently congressional report says that at a Tyson plant in Amarillo, Texas, inspectors observed many employees working with “saturated” masks. At a pork plant in Waterloo, Iowa, dozens of workers fell ill and three died. Local officials, including the county sheriff, said The company initially denied their request to close the plant in spring 2020.
Tyson said it has spent more than $810 million on coronavirus safety measures and new health services in place. It conducted plant-wide coronavirus testing and hires its first medical director.
In August, the company announced vaccine requirements for its packers and poultry plants, many of which are in the South and Midwest, where vaccine resistance is high. By November, more than 96% of its workforce had been vaccinated.
Mr. Brower said on Tuesday, Tyson defines full immunization as either two doses of Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna or a single dose of Johnson & Johnson injection. The company, he said, has hosted more than 100 clinics offering booster shots, and it continues to “strongly encourage” booster shots for employees.
The number of coronavirus cases has decreased about 80 percent nationally since peaking in Januaryto a national average of 155,000 per day, about the same level as at the end of December.
Tyson’s relaxation of its mask regulations is subject to local and other applicable laws, as well as federal regulations, that require the continued use of masks at certain facilities, depending on the baud rate, Brower said. Tyson plans to notify employees soon which factories and offices will be affected by this change.
It is also reviewing – and considering regulating – guidelines for social testing and attribution.
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