Mass. Food Industry Plagued by COVID-19 Outbreaks in Recent Weeks

A Cumberland Farms facility in Westborough was recently home to a cluster of 19 confirmed or suspected cases, according to state records

Boston Business Journal

With coronavirus cases on the rise in Massachusetts, food manufacturers and distributors appear to have suffered a higher number of COVID-19 outbreaks in recent weeks than other types of businesses, according to state records obtained by the Business Journal through a public records request.

For some of the largest COVID-19 workplace clusters, the outbreak does not seem to have been caused by conditions within the facilities, but rather employees carpooling to work or socializing outside of work, according to preliminary findings from the Massachusetts Department of Labor Standards.

Last month, the state agency began reaching out to businesses with multiple employees who have either recently been diagnosed with COVID-19, or who are suspected to have the virus. It’s done so to help the businesses limit further transmission and prevent future outbreaks, rather than to root out and punish wrongdoing.

A Department of Labor Standards database shows that between Sept. 18 and Oct. 13, the agency investigated more than 50 workplaces with two or more confirmed or suspected COVID cases. While the agency started its investigations in mid-September, some of the clusters date back to August or even July.

Read more at the Boston Business Journal.

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