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Brazilian judge issues stay-at-home orders for workers at JBS plant due to COVID-19

A judge in Brazil has ordered all employees at a JBS-owned pork plant to stay home for at least 14 days due to a coronavirus outbreak.

20 July 2020, at 8:47am

Reuters reports that labour prosecutors found that the outbreak has affected over 40 percent of the staff at the plant.

According to a court document, the judge issued the decision on Thursday 16 July.

The plant in the town of Tres Passos in Rio Grande do Sul state has about 1,000 employees, according to prosecutors. It is one of six Brazilian meat plants currently barred from exporting to China over coronavirus concerns.

JBS declined to comment, saying the legal case was ongoing. It added it was adhering to the highest safety standards.

Several plants owned by JBS in Brazil and the United States have had coronavirus outbreaks, leading to criticism that the company is not doing enough to protect its blue-collar workers.

Thousands of workers have been infected. At Tres Passos, a 48-year-old JBS employee died from COVID-19 complications in June, prosecutors have said.

In late June, prosecutors said 117 workers at the plant had tested positive, but on Friday they said that number had almost quadrupled to more than 400.

Other JBS plants have been shut down and then reopened as prosecutors and defence lawyers won competing favourable decisions.

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