COVID-19: Information for Farmers

The COVID-19 virus can be acquired by being in close contact (within two meters or six feet) with an infected person. You can also get COVID-19 by touching objects contaminated with the virus and then touching your mouth, eyes or nose.

Recent evidence indicates that COVID-19 can be transmitted by individuals who are not showing symptoms. This may include those who have yet to develop symptoms and those who may never develop symptoms.

Guidance

Symptoms of COVID-19 may include:

 

  • Cough

  • Headache

  • Fever/ chills

  • Muscle aches

  • Sore throat/ hoarse voice

  • Shortness of breath/ breathing difficulties

  • Loss of taste or smell

  • Vomiting, or diarrhea for more than 24 hours

  • Poor feeding if an infant

  • Runny nose

  • Fatigue

  • Nausea or loss of appetite

  • Conjunctivitis (pink eye)

  • Skin rash of unknown cause

 

While many people will develop only mild symptoms, some groups appear to be more vulnerable to COVID-19. Those at higher risk typically develop more serious, even fatal, symptoms such as pneumonia, severe acute respiratory syndrome and kidney failure.

High risk groups include those:

  • 60 years of age and older

  • living with chronic health conditions (e.g. diabetes, heart, renal or chronic lung conditions)

  • with weakened immune systems (e.g. cancer)

*Symptoms of COVID-19 or other coronaviruses may take up to 14 days to appear after exposure to the virus.*

Actions for Farmers:

All business (including farms) must assess the risk and put procedures in place to minimise the risk of transmission of COVID-19 between people on site.

 

Having procedures in place not only reduces the risk of transmission and persons becoming ill, but can also help to reduce problems on the farm that could arise if all workers were infected or deemed to be “close contacts” of a confirmed case and were all away from work.

 

Everyone on the farm must be trained in all new protocols you establish and must comply with them. 

 

The plan you develop should be in writing (you may be asked to produce it) in the event of an inspection or contact tracing investigation.

Safety and Health Inspections: 

Workplace Safety and Health (WSH) Officers continue to carry out general inspections on farms during the pandemic.  Their officers have protocols in place to ensure they are not transmitting COVID - 19 between workplaces.  

 

In addition to their usual inspections for compliance with the WSH Act and Regulation, they are also now carrying out a Covid-19 precautions inspection that looks at whether the following have been considered and included in the farm’s protocols and training:

  • Vulnerable / High Risk workers in the workplace

  • Health Screening

  • Physical Distancing

  • Hygiene & Sanitation

  • PPE & Other Controls

  • Communication & Training

Confirmed Case – Public Health Tracing

In the event of a person from the farm testing positive for COVID- 19, Public Health may contact the owner to ascertain if others in that workplace were potentially exposed and may need to self-isolate and/or be tested.

If you would like further guidance on COVID- 19, contact Morag at morag.marjerison@kap.ca
 

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