Interim Guidance from CDC and the U.S. Department of Labor
Last Updated: Monday, June 1, 2020
In conjunction with the U.S. Department of Labor, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has created guidelines for preventing and controlling coronavirus within agricultural worksites.
Some highlighted points, as recommended by both the CDC and the US Department of Labor.
- Management in the agriculture industry should conduct work site assessments to identify coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) risks and infection prevention strategies to protect workers.
- Work site guidance for COVID-19 prevention and control should be taken into consideration in employer-furnished shared worker housing, transportation vehicles and work settings.
- Prevention practices should follow the hierarchy of controls, which includes using source control and a combination of engineering controls, administrative controls (especially proper sanitation, cleaning, and disinfection), and personal protective equipment.
- Grouping workers together into cohorts may reduce the spread of COVID-19 transmission in the workplace by minimizing the number of different individuals who come into close contact with each other over the course of a week, and may also reduce the number of workers quarantined because of exposure to the virus.
- Owners/operators should maximize opportunities to place farmworkers residing together in the same vehicles for transportation and in the same cohorts to limit exposure.
- Basic information and training about infection prevention should be provided to all farmworkers in languages they can understand.
- Agriculture work sites developing plans for continuing operations where COVID-19 is spreading among workers or in the surrounding community should work directly with appropriate state and local public health officials and occupational safety and health professionals.
For more in-depth information on the guidelines provide, please refer to the CDC’s Agriculture Workers and Employers page: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/community/guidance-agricultural-workers.html.