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Why meat processing plants have become Covid-19 hotbeds

In the picturesque market town of Llangefni on the Welsh island of Anglesey, almost all the shops are closed and the town is empty amid the ongoing lockdown.

The local Aldi and Lidl stores are being avoided by locals due to their proximity to the 2 Sisters poultry processing plant that was forced to close down after an outbreak of coronavirus. Two hundred workers have since tested positive for Covid-19.The concern felt by those who know workers at the plant is common. This outbreak took place in just one of many factories that have seen serious outbreaks of Covid-19 across the world in recent months. In Cleckheaton, northern England, 165 workers tested positive for Covid-19 at the Kober meat factory. And in Germany, authorities were forced to quarantine 360,000  people this week after an outbreak in a meat plant in Guetersloh in the western state of North-Rhine Westphalia. In the United States, dozens of food processing facilities had to suspend operations over the disease earlier this year.There have been so many outbreaks in meat packing factories around the world that scientists are now examining whether the environment inside the plants could be part of the problem. “We can all speculate, but I think there are three things that pop up: these people work very, very closely together, it’s cold in there and it’s humid,” said Dr. Thomas Kamradt, an immunologist and professor at the University Hospital at Friedrich-Schiller University in Jena, Germany.

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