The COVID-19 pandemic has affected the agricultural sector in the Upper Midwest with new health and safety concerns, supply chain disruptions, and consumer demand changes.
Agricultural workplaces should consider COVID-19 prevention and response practices in health and safety planning.
WHAT IS IT AND WHAT ARE THE SYMPTOMS?
COVID-19 is a disease caused by a virus called SARS-CoV-2. Most people with COVID-19 have mild symptoms, but some become severely ill. Older adults and people with certain underlying medical conditions are more likely to get severely ill. While most people with COVID-19 get better within a few weeks, it is possible to experience post-COVID conditions. These conditions include a wide range of health problems and can occur four or more weeks after being infected. Even those who do not become severely ill from COVID-19 may experience post-COVID conditions.
WHO IS AT INCREASED RISK?
Some farmers and farmworkers may be at increased risk for severe illness, including people who:
- are 65 years and older
- have underlying medical conditions;
- lack healthcare coverage
- are unvaccinated
- are non-English speaking or have low literacy levels which may limit their ability to access information about worksite procedures and policies
- live in high-density housing, crowded living situations, multi-generational housing, or in other circumstances that would make it difficult to isolate cases.
- belong to racial and ethnic minority groups disproportionately affected by COVID-19 because of discrimination, socioeconomic status, barriers to accessing healthcare, and increased exposure to the virus due to occupation
Getting vaccinated is the best way to protect yourself and others from COVID-19.
It is important to be fully vaccinated for COVID-19, which means receiving all recommended doses in the series of COVID-19 vaccine.
- Vaccines for COVID-19 - CDC
- COVID-19 Vaccine Booster Shots - CDC
- Stay Up to Date with Your COVID-19 Vaccines - CDC
- Find a COVID-19 vaccine near you - VaccineFinder
- Vaccine Central - National Resource Center for Refugees, Immigrants, and Migrants (NRC-RIM)
- Translated Materials by Language - National Resource Center for Refugees, Immigrants, and Migrants (NRC-RIM)
- Answers to Tough Questions about Public Health - Public Health Communications Collaborative
- FAQ: COVID-19 and Migrant, Immigrant, and Food & Farm Worker Patients - Migrant Clinicians Network
- How does the COVID-19 vaccine work? (English/Spanish) - California Department of Public Health
Getting tested for COVID-19 is an important way to protect your community and get treated if necessary.
Get tested if you have symptoms of COVID-19 or had close contact to someone with COVID-19. Treatments may be available for people with COVID-19 who are at risk of becoming very sick. Testing may also be helpful or required before traveling or attending a large gathering.
- Testing for COVID-19 - CDC
- COVID-19 Test Basics - FDA
- Testing Instructions and Videos - National Resource Center for Refugees, Immigrants, and Migrants (NRC-RIM)
- Get free at-home COVID-19 tests - USPS
- Find a Testing Location Near You - U.S. Department of Health & Human Services
Slow the spread of COVID-19 with basic preventative measures.
- Get vaccinated and stay up to date on vaccines.
- Wear a mask or high-quality face coverings: Wear a face covering that fits over your nose and snugly around your mouth, especially when community transmission levels are high. Ideally, wear an N95, KN95, or respiratory protection of a similar caliber.
- Increase distance from others, especially from those who are sick or if you are not up to date on COVID-19 vaccines.
- Increase air circulation & ventilation by being outside or opening windows and and using filtration and fans indoors.
- Get tested if you have symptoms of COVID-19 or a close contact exposure to someone with COVID-19.
- Wash your hands often for at least 20 seconds with soap and water when available, or use a quality hand sanitizer.
- Stay home when sick: Most people with COVID-19 have mild illness and can recover at home without medical care. Get tested as soon as possible after symptoms start. Treatments may be available for people with COVID-19 who are at risk of becoming very sick.
- For more information about COVID-19 and preventing the spread:
- COVID-19 Resource Center - Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy
- About COVID-19 - Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
COVID-19 Resources for Agricultural Populations
- FAQ: COVID-19 and Migrant, Immigrant, and Food & Farm Worker Patients – Migrant Clinicians Network
- Why You Should Not Use Ivermectin to Treat or Prevent COVID-19 – FDA
- Respiratory Protection During the COVID-19 Pandemic: Best Practices for the Agricultural Community – High Plains Intermountain Center for Agricultural Health and Safety, Central States Center for Agricultural Safety and Health, Ag Health & Safety Alliance
- Reducing Risk of Spread on Farm Operations – Northeast Center for Occupational Health and Safety
- Protecting Agricultural Workers from COVID-19 – Northeast Center for Occupational Health and Safety
- Respirator Pocket Card (English / Spanish) – Western Center for Agricultural Health and Safety
- COVID-19 Vaccine Information Postcard (English/Spanish) – Western Center for Agricultural Health and Safety
- Poultry Grower Facility COVID-19 Playbook – Central States Center for Agricultural Safety and Health and the UNMC Global Center for Health Security
- (Video) Respiratory Protection – Understanding the Risks – AgriSafe & U.S. Agricultural Safety and Health Centers
For more information about COVID-19
- About COVID-19 – CDC
- Know Your COVID-19 Community Level – CDC
- Workplace Prevention Strategies (English) – CDC
- Workplace Prevention Strategies (Spanish) – CDC
- COVID-19 Fact Sheets – National Resource Center for Refugees, Immigrants, and Migrants (NRC-RIM)
- COVID-19 Conversation Guides – National Resource Center for Refugees, Immigrants, and Migrants (NRC-RIM)
- COVID-19 Employer Engagement – National Resource Center for Refugees, Immigrants, and Migrants (NRC-RIM)
- COVID-19 Testing Resources – National Resource Center for Refugees, Immigrants, and Migrants (NRC-RIM)
- Answers to Tough Questions about Public Health – Public Health Communications Collaborative
- COVID-19 Resource Center – Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy (CIDRAP)
- CIDRAP Take: COVID-19– Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy (CIDRAP)
- Getting to and Sustaining the Next Normal: A Roadmap for Living with COVID – COVID Roadmap
- How does the COVID-19 vaccine work? (English/Spanish) – California Department of Public Health
- What are COVID-19 variants? (English/Spanish) – California Department of Public Health
- Journey to COVID-19 Vaccines (English/Spanish)– National Institutes of Health Community Engagement Alliance
- What to Know About COVID Variants (English/Spanish) – COVID-19 Public Education Campaign
- (Video) Rise of the Variants – available in Arabic, Dari, Nepali, English, Pashto, Spanish, Swahili, Tigrinya, and Ukrainian – National Resource Center for Refugees, Immigrants, and Migrants (NRC-RIM)
- Testing Positive for COVID-19. Now what? – available in English, Spanish, and Haitian Creole – Migrant Clinicians Network