A new study looking at which jobs carry the most risk of death for California workers amid the coronavirus pandemic found that cooks have the deck stacked against them, according to a new study, which called for those same laborers to be prioritized for vaccines.
Next up are the people who operate packaging machines, followed by agricultural workers, bakers, construction laborers, factory hands and shipping clerks, according to Dr. Kirsten Bibbins-Domingo, the vice dean of Population Health and Health Equity at University of California San Francisco, who worked on the study.
Basically – jobs where it’s impossible to work from home and which have little paid leave.
The claims, which are still awaiting peer review, were based on an examination of death certificates. They unsurprisingly identify essential workers as high-risk laborers as the state’s outbreak continues to rage.
Food and farm workers combined for an “excess mortality” rate of 39%. Transportation, logistics and shipping laborers saw a 28% increase in deaths.
“While we pay a lot of lip service to essential workers, when you see the actual occupations that rise to the top of the list as being at much more risk and associated with death, it screams out to you who’s really at risk,” Bibbins-Domingo told the San Francisco Chronicle.
Broken down by demographics, Latino food and agriculture workers saw a 59% increase in excess mortality. Asian health care workers saw 40%.
“In-person essential work is a likely venue of transmission of coronavirus infection and must be addressed through strict enforcement of health orders in workplace settings and protection of in-person workers,” the authors wrote. “Vaccine distribution prioritizing in-person essential workers will be important for reducing excess COVID mortality.”
News of the findings comes as California officials have ignored public records requests on coronavirus data, new cases are surging and the state struggles with its vaccine rollout.
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