Led by Natalie Bowman, MD MPH, UNC researchers are studying COVID-19 prevalence, incidence, and risk factors for transmission among meat packing plant and farmworkers in a new observational study, COFF-NC (COVID-19 in Farming and Food processing industries in North Carolina).
COFF-NC (COVID-19 in Farming and Food processing industries in North Carolina) is an observational study at UNC designed to study the prevalence, incidence, and risk factors for transmission of COVID-19 among meat packing plant and farmworkers in North Carolina.
Meat packing plants and farms have served as foci of local outbreaks of COVID-19. Workers also infect their household members, promoting spread in surrounding communities. In addition to the adverse effects on human health, these localized outbreaks can overwhelm medical and public health institutions, especially in underserved rural communities where these industries are often located. Additionally, these workers tend to be members of racial or ethnic minority groups that have suffered a disproportionate burden of COVID-19 morbidity and mortality.
Led by Natalie Bowman, MD, MPH, assistant professor in the division of infectious diseases, researchers at the UNC School of Medicine are conducting an observational study to better understand COVID-19 transmission in this population. The team hopes to identify effective interventions to reduce future COVID-19 outbreaks in workers and their families and communities.
Collaborators in COFF-NC include the UNC School of Medicine, the Institute for Global Health and Infectious Diseases, the Gillings School of Global Public Health, the Infectious Disease Epidemiology and Ecology Lab (IDEEL), the North Carolina Translational & Clinical Sciences Institute (NC TraCS), Piedmont Health Services (PHS), and the Hispanic Liaison.
Adults who have worked at a meat packing plant, food processing facility, or farm since February of 2020 are eligible to participate. Household members at least one year of age are also invited to participate.
Patients who are interested in learning more may complete a brief screener and enter their contact information at go.unc.edu/coffnc.
Contact: Melissa Klein, study coordinator, 919-869-5595 or email@example.com.