CDC and Department of Labor Issue COVID-29 Guidance for Agricultural Workers and Employers
The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and U.S. Department of Labor have released interim COVID-19 guidance online for agriculture workers and employers, noting this guidance may be adapted by state and local health departments in response to local COVID-19 circumstances.
The webpage outlines the general risks of COVID-19 and the specific risks of exposure associated with the agriculture workforce— such as communal/shared living, shared transportation vehicles and mobility of the workers. Guidance is provided to help employers develop COVID-19 assessment and control plans, as well as key consideration for appropriately screening and monitoring workers to mitigate the spread of COVID-19. As concerns the development of a control plan, the webpage outlines critical components of the plan: engineering controls, cleaning/disinfection/sanitation, administrative controls and personal protective equipment.
A key component of the guidance is detailed recommendations concerning what steps should be taken in the event employees develop symptoms or test positive for COVID-19 and the necessary considerations that should be given when addressing the return of a worker after exposure.
In addition, specific guidance is provided to help employers mitigate risk in shared housing environments and for shared transportation. The site also provides important resources for families in need of childcare, discusses special considerations for youth farmworkers and summarizes workers’ rights.
The CDC also has developed the Agricultural Employer Checklist for Creating a COVID-19 Assessment and Control Plan to assist agricultural employers in creating a COVID-19 assessment and control plan for applying specific preparation, prevention, and management measures. This checklist has been developed based on the Agriculture Workers and Employers Interim Guidance from CDC and the U.S. Department of Labor.