This Version Posted: May 25, 2020
Every year, many local farmers and agricultural producers turn to temporary foreign workers for help in planting and harvesting food for the coming growing season. During COVID-19, this situation is made more difficult.
The local Health Unit is working with area farmers to ensure these temporary (or migrant) workers can work safely during COVID-19. Our aim is to also protect the health of the community by preventing the spread of the virus. This ensures area farms operate safely and by the rules, while allowing our local communities to stay well-fed and have access to quality, locally-produced food items.
During COVID-19, the Health Unit follows provincial directives and federal guidelines for temporary foreign workers. Throughout the growing season, our Public Health Inspectors work directly with local farmers and migrant workers to ensure these guidelines are followed to the letter of the law. Some of the provisions include:
- Regular housing/accommodation inspections
- Getting temporary workers to self-isolate for 14 days upon arrival in Canada
- Doing ongoing screening of workers for COVID-19 symptoms and putting in place provisions that they fully isolate themselves from others if they get sick
- Making sure farmers do their part to protect the health of workers. This means: providing appropriate hygiene facilities/supplies, promoting physical distancing measures (such as making sure worker accommodations allow for at least 2-metre distance), and regular cleaning and disinfecting of surfaces.
For more information on Health Unit efforts, call 1-866-888-4577, ext. 5006.