Documents show JBS did little to prevent employee deaths from Covid-19
JBS, one of the world’s largest meatpackers, initially did little to slow the spread of coronavirus at its massive beef processing plant in Greeley, Colorado, according to The Denver Post—a critical lapse that led to the deaths of six employees. More than 500 pages of emails and other records obtained by the Post suggest that personal protective equipment and social distancing guidelines were not taken seriously until late March, shortly before workers started to die. Even as hundreds of employees began to call out sick, the company posted on Facebook that the state’s stay-at-home order “DOES NOT apply to us,” while promising that employees who did show up would receive five pounds of meat; days later, a county health wrote to the company that its “work while sick” culture was worsening the outbreak, and ordering it to screen for symptoms. To date, 286 JBS workers in Colorado have tested positive for Covid-19, though safety measures introduced more recently seem to have slowed the spread.