A new study finds that food and ag workers are among those suffering the most deaths from COVID-19. The UC San Francisco research found that death rates among working-age Californians in this sector increased by 39% during the pandemic.
Transportation and logistics workers came in second, with a 28% increase. The study showed that in-person workers fared worse than those who were able to shift to work-from-home.
The study concluded the transmissions likely came from the workplace, and “strict enforcement of health orders” are needed to protect workers. “Vaccine distribution prioritizing in-person essential workers will be important for reducing excess COVID mortality,” reads the report.
Latino food and ag workers saw an increase of 59% in their mortality rate, while the overall increase for Latino Californians was 36%. Black Californians working in retail also saw a 36% increase in mortality. Among Asian Californians, the highest increase was among healthcare workers at 40%. White food and ag workers saw a 16% increase.