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As part of our prevention efforts related to COVID-19, the Connecticut River Valley Farmworker Health Program, has prepared recommendations below for migratory and seasonal agricultural worker health programs to incorporate into their outreach strategy. These strategies are focused on prevention and preparation for potential cases affecting agricultural workers. Additional recommendations may be released as the situation changes.
To reduce the risk and spread of COVID-19, we recommend continuously consulting the Connecticut Department of Public Health and the Massachusetts Department of Public Health as circumstances are changing. The Massachusetts Department of Public Health has COVID-19 Printable Fact Sheets (available in multiple languages).
Migratory and seasonal agricultural workers are a special population that may face additional risks due to their working and living conditions:
- Agricultural workers often live in large groups and in close conditions
- Many agricultural workers arrive by bus and can face increased risk due to close proximity with a sick passenger
- Lack of access to resources can include lack of access to soap, hand sanitizer, etc.
- Lack of access to information may mean that agricultural workers have not yet received the latest recommendations around COVID-19 prevention and awareness
Here are some steps that you can take now to prepare:
1. Download the CDC app on your phone for the latest updates
2. Bookmark websites on your computer that can help you stay up to date with current facts about the infection and your local situation:
3. For national info from the CDC https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/cases-in-us.html
4. For state info from the Connecticut Department of Public Health https://portal.ct.gov/Coronavirus and the Massachusetts Department of Public Health https://www.mass.gov/resource/information-on-the-outbreak-of-coronavirus-disease-2019-covid-19
5. Provide educational material (in Spanish) to all agricultural workers on COVID-19 mitigation and incorporate proper hand washing technique demonstration into health education: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/downloads/stop-the-spread-of-germs-sp.pdf; https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/downloads/COVID19-symptoms-sp.pdf
6. Practice self-care during this stressful time and remind agricultural workers to do the same (https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/about/coping.html)
7. Learn your agency's emergency plans, policies and procedures for patients who have either symptoms or exposure to COVID-19 and follow their directives to keep yourself healthy.
8. Plan how you and your team will contact each of your agricultural worker patients if needed to provide them with information about closures, emergency healthcare/quarantine/isolation facilities that may be opened in your area if the need arises.
9. Make sure to document follow up to any potential cases in your case management system (i.e. patient well and staying, leaving, ill but ok to stay, ill and seeking care, etc.)
10. Help agricultural workers with chronic diseases keep an adequate supply of their usual medications so that they don't run out if they need to be in quarantine.
Updated: July 2020