Conservation, farm worker groups press Cooper on coronavirus transparency

Eighteen advocacy groups call on the Cooper administration to release and require more information on meat plant coronavirus outbreaks.

Posted Updated
Travis Fain
, WRAL statehouse reporter
RALEIGH, N.C. — A coalition of environmental and farm worker advocacy groups called on Gov. Roy Cooper's administration Wednesday to release more information on coronavirus outbreak at meat plants.

The groups also said the governor should require plants to test all employees repeatedly and have any who test positive self-quarantine for at least 14 days.

They want hospitals to collect occupation data on all positive tests and for the state Department of Health and Human Services to release cases by employer, something it has not been willing to do.

"The department’s responsibility should be to the public and not the industry here," the groups said in a letter.

"We are concerned that lack of transparency, testing and mandatory safety protocols threaten worker safety, the public’s health, community welfare and the environment, requiring your immediate intervention," the groups said.

Representatives from 18 entities signed on to the letter, including the North Carolina Conservation Network, Yadkin Riverkeeper, Natural Resources Defense Council, Episcopal Farmworker Ministry and Student Action with Farmworkers.

Cooper's office and DHHS didn't immediately respond to a request for comment.


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