In an effort to stop the spread of coronavirus in meat packing plants, Kansas authorities are considering making housing at junior colleges and other facilities available to packing plant employees.
Matt Teagarden of the Kansas Livestock Association confirmed on Farm Journal Live that the industry is working with state government leaders to identify housing, both to isolate infected workers and to offer protected housing and food for packing plant line workers who are not infected and who are needed to keep food lines running.
“That may include providing some alternative housing for some of those individuals, whether they're going through a quarantine period if they have tested positive, but perhaps even those that that aren't, that are that are healthy, that are not infected, having a safe place for them to go after work to hang out and keep them protected,” Teagarden said.
The housing effort is part of a comprehensive plan to slow the spread which includes expanded testing at packing plants, Kansas Agriculture Secretary Mike Beam told Chip Flory on the AgriTalk Radio Show.
“The state's trying to make arrangements with those communities to provide… and they've got assistance from the federal level as well… is to provide housing and food and care for those who are positive so they're not back in their homes with their families, spreading it,” Beam said. “The ink hasn't been dried on the agreement, and nobody's in the isolations yet, but that should come online soon.”
See the full interview on how Kansas pork and beef producers are responding to the plant closures in the recording of Thursday’s Farm Journal Live in the player above. The newscast also includes updates from Feeding America on how food banks are serving the growing numbers of unemployed.
Farm Journal Live is streamed every weekday at noon Central on AgWeb.com.