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Public Health Order will Help Protect Local Farm Workers from COVID-19

Hastings and Prince Edward Counties/July 3, 2020

Effective at 12:01 am on July 3, 2020, Dr. Alexa Caturay, Acting Medical Officer of Health for Hastings Prince Edward Public Health, has issued a class order under Section 22 of the Health Protection and Promotion Act. This order has been implemented at the recommendation of the  Chief Medical Officer of Health of Ontario, with an aim to protect the health and safety of individuals employed at local farms. The Section 22 order enables Hastings Prince Edward Public Health to enforce certain requirements for employers of farm workers.

These requirements include:

  • Ensuring that appropriate accommodations, and adequate essentials such as food, water, laundry, and cleaning supplies are provided to any farm workers in isolation.
  • Ensuring workers have appropriate access to health care services and other supports.
  • Implementing consistent work teams/groups to minimize number of contacts throughout the work day.
  • Conducting active screening of workers on a daily basis.
  • Maintaining physical distancing requirements as best as possible.
  • Ensuring appropriate isolation of farm workers, when required, to reduce potential transmission of COVID-19, in alignment with current provincial guidelines.
  • Ensuring that workers from any area where there is community transmission of COVID-19 have tested negative within 48-hours prior to beginning work.

“Many individuals who support our local farming community reside in congregate living settings, and maintaining appropriate public health measures in these settings is critical to reduce the risk of COVID-19” says Dr. Alexa Caturay, Acting Medical Officer of Health at HPEPH. “We have been working with local farms to reduce these risks. By formalizing existing infection control recommendations through a Section 22 order, we can be confident that appropriate steps are being taken to help protect the health of both the agricultural labour force and the surrounding community.”

The complete order has been posted on the HPEPH website, hpePublicHealth.ca. The website also includes additional information and answers to frequently asked questions about COVID-19. Individuals who still have questions about the order after reviewing web content can call the HPEPH COVID-19 information line at 613-966-5500 or 1-800-267-2803 during regular business hours.

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Media Contact:

Emily Tubbs, Communications Specialist
etubbs@hpeph.ca

About Hastings Prince Edward Public Health

Hastings Prince Edward Public Health (HPEPH) is a public health agency that serves the counties of Hastings and Prince Edward from four local offices. We monitor the health of our local population, deliver programs and services within our communities, and help develop healthy public policies. We provide information and support in many areas to help improve the health and well-being of our residents. Together with our communities, we help people become as healthy as they can be. For more information, please visit hpePublicHealth.ca. You can also find us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter.

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We are working to respond to community needs during the COVID-19 pandemic.

If you are concerned about potential exposure to a positive case of COVID-19, please be reassured that any contacts of a confirmed case will be contacted directly and monitored by public health.

Low-risk and indirect contacts should self monitor for symptoms for 14 days from the time of potential exposure and seek testing if symptoms develop. Low risk contacts do not need to isolate unless symptoms develop, and can continue to attend school/work/daycare while monitoring for symptoms.

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