Across the United States, meatpacking plants were an early source of coronavirus outbreaks, including the JBS USA beef processing plant in Greeley. As the first cases of the virus were being reported in Seattle, officials at the plant and in Colorado were slow to prepare and to react when workers started showing symptoms.
As of July 9, 286 of the 3,200 workers at the plant have tested positive for COVID-19, and six have died. A seventh JBS employee at the company’s corporate offices in Greeley also died.
Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter Shelly Bradbury took a look at how the company and public health officials responded and how their responses impacted the lives of workers. She filed requests via the Colorado Open Records Act and the federal Freedom of Information Act to obtain more than 500 pages of emails, letters, memos and other records to see what took place as the virus took hold inside the plant.
Please take time to read about the impact coronavirus has had on the people who help feed the United States. Thanks for reading The Denver Post.
— Noelle Phillips, breaking news editor
Five of our best stories from the past week
As districts across the state unveil plans to reopen schools, more Coloradans are considering foregoing traditional education and instead enrolling in online academic programs. The risks associated with sending kids back to school for in-person instruction are too great, parents said, even with new mask, distancing and sanitation protocols. Read more from Tiney Ricciardi.
Over the past month and a half — as historic protests engulfed the Mile High City, prompting sweeping police changes as part of a national reckoning on race — Tay Anderson has become one of Denver’s most recognizable faces. A man who only this year could buy a beer legally is building a fervent following and a national audience as he inserts himself into hot-button issues. Read more from Sam Tabachnik.
Rocky Mountain Gun Owners announced a change to its top leadership Wednesday — a week after many candidates backed by the group lost their primaries, Saja Hindi reports.
The hard-right gun advocacy group says the leadership change has been in the works since February and had nothing to do with the primaries. But some Republicans believe the group’s losses indicate voters want to see a different kind of GOP candidate in office and that a change is needed satisfy those voters.
Denver artist Raverro Stinnett’s career was taking off; then he was beaten by Union Station security — The Know
Art is subjective, creative professionals say. Here’s something else they say in the metro area: Raverro Stinnett may be Colorado’s best unknown artist.
But there is no way to talk about Stinett’s art without acknowledging a harsh reality. A little more than two years ago, Stinnett was sitting at Union Station after attending an art gala. When Stinnett left Union Station three hours later, he had suffered a traumatic brain injury after being beaten in a bathroom by one of the Allied guards, according to a lawsuit. Stinnett was unarmed and suspected of no crime. Read more from John Wenzel…
A year after Senate Bill 181 was OK’d, regulators are poised to tackle heart of sweeping oil-gas changes
State regulators writing new oil and gas rules have carried on through a global pandemic and massive turmoil in the industry. That might have been the easy part for the Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission, now poised to plunge into the heart of the law that mandates sweeping changes.
Soon, a new, full-time commission will take the hand-off from a volunteer commission to take on what’s being called “mission change.” Read more from Judith Kohler.
A few more important stories
+ Crowds grow at Denver International Airport: “Surprising how full the planes are”
+ Political ads for Gardner-Hickenlooper Senate race drop this week, months before election
+ Colorado sues e-cigarette maker Juul for deceptive marketing practices that target youths
+ Details are out on the biggest Paycheck Protection Program borrowers in Colorado
+ Supreme Court unanimously sides with Colorado in faithless electors case
+ Denver mayor to council members: Where do you want to put a homeless camp in your district?
+ “Your freedom bumps up against my freedom:” Bandimere Speedway restraining order still in place as events planned for this weekend
+ United Airlines will slash nearly 36,000 jobs as COVID crushes air travel
+ Colorado’s international students face uncertainty after ICE says they must leave country if schools go online-only again
+ Emily Howell Warner, National Aviation Hall of Fame inductee, dies at 80
+ Denver museum repatriates sacred carvings to Kenyan tribes
+ Black bodies, white spaces: Denver’s yoga scene faces a reckoning — The Know
+ 10 of the coolest spots around Colorado for kids (and adults) obsessed with dinosaurs — The Know
+ CHSAA still optimistic for fall season despite other states’ decisions
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