ByGavin Good, Julia Morrison, Hali Tauxe, Danielle DuClos, Chris Martucci and Dylan Tiger/For The Midwest Center for Investigative Reporting |
When universities across the U.S. reopened and welcomed tens of thousands of students back to campus this fall, students partied in apartments, at pools and on the lawns of Greek houses — celebrating as if COVID-19 did not exist.
Local public health departments and universities alike received thousands of reports about students at over-packed parties and bars where they could be seen maskless, violating social distancing and gathering size limits. Some schools created ways for complaints to be filed.
ByDerek Kravitz, Brown Institute for Media Innovation; Georgia Gee, Stabile Center for Investigative Journalism, Columbia Journalism School; Madison McVan, Midwest Center for Investigative Reporting; and Ignacio Calderon, USA TODAY Network Agriculture Data Fellow |
A May 1 conference call with federal, state and local health officials sent one message: Despite a COVID-19 outbreak amongst it workers, Rochelle Foods was to remain open. This fall, a second outbreak at the plant wasn’t publicly reported.
With support from the Pulitzer Center for Crisis Reporting, we deeply examined the outbreak at Triumph Foods, which sickened hundreds of meatpacking workers and killed at least four. Here's how we did it.
ByDana Cronin and Christine Herman, Illinois Newsroom |
Since June, there have been 21 COVID-19 cases linked to the hotel where an entire crew of migrant workers are living, according to the Champaign-Urbana Public Health District, which tracks COVID-19 cases across Champaign County. The hotel is tied for third largest outbreak in the county, based on internal statewide public health data from July through September obtained by the Midwest Center for Investigative Reporting.
ByGeorgia Gee, Stabile Center for Investigative Journalism, Columbia Journalism School; Derek Kravitz, Brown Institute for Media Innovation; and Sky Chadde, Midwest Center for Investigative Reporting |
Newly obtained confidential statewide data shows that coronavirus outbreaks in workplaces, schools and prisons are driving Illinois’ rising cases — and many of these outbreaks have never been made public.
BySky Chadde, Midwest Center for Investigative Reporting, Kyle Bagenstose and Rachel Axon USA TODAY |
Even as thousands of their employees fell ill with COVID-19, meatpacking executives pressured federal regulators to help keep their plants open, according to a trove of emails obtained by USA TODAY and The Midwest Center for Investigative Reporting.
September 10, 2020
U.S. Department of Labor Cites Smithfield Packaged Meats Corp. For Failing to Protect Employees from Coronavirus
SIOUX FALLS, SD - The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has cited Smithfield Packaged Meats Corp. in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, for failing to protect employees from exposure to the coronavirus. OSHA proposed a penalty of $13,494, the maximum allowed by law. Based on a coronavirus-related inspection, OSHA cited the company for one violation of the general duty clause for failing to provide a workplace free from recognized hazards that can cause death or serious harm.
BySky Chadde, Midwest Center for Investigative Reporting, and Christine Herman, Illinois Newsroom |
At least eight migrant workers who were infected with COVID-19 waited several days before isolating because the company they worked for, Bayer, declined to pay for expedited tests, Champaign County health officials said.
ByJohnathan Hettinger, Midwest Center for Investigative Reporting |
A lawsuit filed this week by the National Black Farmers Association seeks to stop agribusiness giant Bayer from selling Roundup, its popular herbicide that has been linked to cancer in recent years. The lawsuit, filed in St. Louis, alleges that Black farmers are forced by the agricultural system to spray Roundup and therefore are at risk of developing cancer. The lawsuit argues that Monsanto, which was bought by Bayer in 2018, knowingly failed and continues to fail to adequately warn farmers about the dangers of glyphosate, the active ingredient in Roundup. Glyphosate is considered a probable carcinogen by the International Agency for Research on Cancer.