Report: During 8 Months In 2020, Deaths Among Farm Workers Rose 40 Percent

Feb 5, 2021

Since the start of the pandemic, 43,000 Californians have officially died due to COVID-19. But a new research paper by a team of epidemiologists at the University of California, San Francisco suggests that the true death toll due to the virus is likely much higher, after studying deaths in California over an 8-month period from March to October.

What’s more, the research reveals that food and agricultural workers suffered more excess deaths than any other occupation, and death rates were also elevated among Hispanic and Black Californians.

In this interview, FM89’s Kerry Klein spoke with Yea-Hung Chen, an epidemiologist at UCSF and the primary author of the study, about his team’s examination of excess deaths, why some occupations appear more at risk than others, and how the research can contribute to conversations about workplace protections.