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This Version Posted: July 9, 2020

Media Release

July 9, 2020

Health Unit Issues Order to Help Prevent the Spread of COVID-19

The local health unit is taking additional steps to help protect area residents from the spread of COVID-19.

The Haliburton, Kawartha, Pine Ridge District Health Unit today (July 9) issued a Section 22 Class Order to all owners and operators of agricultural farms that employ migrant farm workers, participate in the federal Temporary Farm Worker (TFW) or operate any model of seasonal housing accommodations. Read full details about the Order here.

The Order is effective from 12 pm (noon) July 9, 2020 and will remain in effect until the Medical Officer of Health determines it is no longer required.

“While we have not seen large COVID-19 outbreaks at farms in our area, the Health Unit is taking this step to help further reduce the risk to the people working in our area farms and the residents of our community,” says Dr. Lynn Noseworthy, Medical Officer of Health for the HKPR District Health Unit.

Under the Order, all owners and operators of agricultural farms in Northumberland and Haliburton counties and the City of Kawartha Lakes must follow a number of actions, including:

  • Notifying the Health Unit when migrant and/or TFWs will be arriving at the farm
  • Ensuring that all current and future employees are working exclusively at one workplace. Employees or contracted employees who are employed at more than one agricultural farm operation must immediately limit this to one farm.
  • Ensuring that all TFWs who have arrived in Canada are in quarantine for 14 days from the date of arrival in Canada as per the Quarantine Act and that no TFW works on any farm until after the completion of the quarantine period.
  • Ensuring that TFWs in quarantine are in accommodations that have been inspected by the Health Unit and has provisions for laundry and cleaning. Owners and operators are also required to ensure grocery supplies and/or meals are provided to TFWs in quarantine.
  • Following any directions provided by the Health Unit pertaining to COVID-19, including adherence to self-isolation orders issued to employees, ensuring that public health measures are maintained at all times in the workplace, and supporting all aspects of investigations related to communicable diseases conducted by the Health Unit.

The Health Protection and Promotion Act authorizes the Medical Officer of Health to make a Class Order to address the risks presented by the potential spread of COVID-19. While most owners and operators of agricultural farms have been compliant with requirements, Dr. Noseworthy says this Order provides the Health Unit with a proactive legal measure to strengthen its ability to prevent the spread of the virus and ensure the health of essential food workers.

“We have been working closely with our farm operators throughout the pandemic response and we are pleased that we have not seen outbreaks similar to those experienced in other parts of the province,” Dr. Noseworthy says. “If we all continue to work together, we can keep each other safe.”

To learn more about the Class Section 22 Order, visit the Health Unit’s website at www.hkpr.on.ca or call 1-866-888-4577, ext. 5020.

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