Marshall Works to Keep Front-Line Employees on the Job
GARDEN CITY - Kansas is responsible for roughly 11 percent of the nation’s beef processing. Nation-wide, the beef industry has already experienced a 15-percent decrease in its processing capacity due to the impacts of COVID-19. Knowing the devastating impacts a further decrease in beef processing would have on consumers and livestock owners, U.S. Congressman Roger Marshall last week began reaching out to representatives from each of the three companies operating beef packing plants in Southwest Kansas to offer assistance and discuss precautions the companies were already taking to protect their employees and the communities in which they operate.
Those discussions led to a state-wide effort that now includes Kansas Department of Emergency Management, Kansas Department of Health and Environment, the CDC and Genesis Family Health, a federally qualified health clinic serving southwest Kansas, along with local clinics and hospitals, to ensure adequate testing and proper isolation measures are taken for those who test positive for the virus.
“We have to prioritize the health of our front-line employees to ensure that they remain on the job,” said Rep. Marshall. “To do that we must begin large-scale testing of the employees to prevent the unnecessary spread of this virus to others in the workplace. This will not be a small endeavor so it is imperative that all agencies come together to ensure the safety of the employees, their families and the communities.”
Additionally, Congressman Marshall was instrumental in securing roughly 5,000 test kits from private manufacturers, and he will continue to ensure communities have the supplies needed to test employees and their family members. Senators Roberts and Moran have also been very influential in helping secure federal supplies for Kansas. FEMA is sending additional PPE supplies to communities in Southwest Kansas to help protect employees and healthcare workers.
“I have heard from livestock owners and community leaders that we must keep these facilities operating and keep employees on the job,” said Rep. Marshall. “That requires us to all step up and develop methods for proper social distancing while on the job and at home while continuing to monitor the health of the employees.”