Federal Meat Inspectors Decry Lack of Access to COVID-19 Tests, Working Through Exposures

Government Executive: Federal inspectors at meat processing plants across the country—once among the hotbeds for the novel coronavirus—are being told to remain at work after exposures to COVID-19, according to employees there, who have raised renewed concerns their agency is not helping them get tested to prevent virus spread.

Several plants were forced to close earlier this year due to outbreaks among both the company workers and federal inspectors, leading President Trump to sign an executive order seeking to compel the plants to stay open amid the pandemic. The Agriculture Department’s Food Safety and Inspection Service took some steps to protect workers after largely declining to change its operations during the outbreaks, eventually giving employees personal protective equipment and installing plexiglass between its staff and the processing lines they inspect.

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