Farmers need to be familiar with their role in the Ministry of Health's farm outbreak guidance. This includes a recommendation for farmers to carry out voluntary health assessments by a third-party provider.
Get provincial information and resources for the agricultural sector
This information outlines current requirements based on the provincial COVID-19 toolkit for farmers (the toolkit) and local order for farm owners and operators of international agriculture workers (previously referred to as temporary foreign workers) who live in employer-provided housing.
In an outbreak situation, Niagara Region Public Health may provide additional recommendations for farm owners and operators.
Farmers will need to keep updated contact lists of all workers (permanent, temporary or contract) and be able to give to Niagara Region Public Health within 24 hours when requested.
The toolkit outlines specific documentation responsibilities for farmers in the following sections:
Conduct daily interactive screening of all workers and visitors to the farm for symptoms of COVID-19.
Follow the screening instructions in the toolkit.
In Niagara, farmers are required to collect and retain answers to daily screens for at least six weeks.
Workers should be cohorted into groups as small as possible (no more than 10) and maintained at the workplace. Refer to the toolkit for details about about cohorting.
Farmers must supply medical masks to all workers. Workers should wear masks when they're using shared spaces or when physical distancing is not possible.
Public Health strongly recommends that workers continue to wear a mask.
Important information can be found in the "non-medical masks and personal protection equipment" section of the toolkit.
Farmers can follow the best practices outlined in the toolkit.
Provide cleaning, hand washing and disinfection products to workers.
Maintain a cleaning log to track frequency of cleaning and disinfecting schedules within the workplace and in housing provided for workers.
The toolkit provides information and resources that Niagara farmers can follow regarding:
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Confirmed PCR and positive rapid molecular test results must be reported to Public Health.
Farm owners and operators should also report to Niagara Region Public Health if they have one or more positive cases, either by rapid antigen or PCR testing, as this may indicate a potential outbreak which would need to be investigated.
Farmers who need to speak to Environmental Health at Public Health about preventing transmission in agri-food facilities and employer-provided housing can email our Public Health inspectors or call 905-688-8248 ext. 7590.
Farmers can call the Clinical Services Division at Public Health to report outbreaks and get support on managing outbreaks at 905-688-8248 ext. 7330.