Organization asking for more transparency about poultry workers infected with COVID-19
MARYLAND – a Maryland organization is asking Governor Larry Hogan to release specific numbers when it comes to poultry workers infected with COVID-19. “We want to know how many COVID-19 infections have been in association with each plant. We’ve gotten some general figures on the number of infections within the industry, but that doesn’t tell us the precise source,” said Lily Hawkins, organizer at Food and Water Action Maryland.
Food And Water Action is asking that the governor release the number of infected workers at Perdue in Salisbury and Amick Farms in Hurlock. Hawkins says the specific numbers would help people in those communities to better understand the risk they’re facing. “We’d all want to know what was happening in our community, and these are major businesses there, and they should be transparent,” said Hawkins.
Hawkins says transparency with the public is important now more than ever. “This is an industry that’s been exploiting Eastern Shore communities and risking the public health of residents on the Eastern Shore for a long time now, and Governor Hogan has a history of protecting this industry, and this is a time for transparency,” said Hawkins.
47ABC did reach out to Governor Hogan’s office for a response. The governor’s office tells us the number of infected workers at individual plants is not yet available. In an email, director of communications Michael Ricci said, “Test results for the plants are still pending, so we do not yet have that information, but we do know that as of May 18th, there are 478 total cases in Maryland associated with the poultry industry, and of these cases, 328 are from Wicomico County.”