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News Release: COVID-19 testing encouraged for all agri-food employees

News Release

COVID-19 testing encouraged for all agri-food employees

For immediate release

Guelph ON, June 17, 2020 – Ontario’s fruit and vegetable farmers continue to work closely with the Ontario government and health authorities to protect all essential, front-line, agri-food employees on Ontario farms during the COVID-19 pandemic. As part of these efforts, the Ontario Fruit and Vegetable Growers’ Association (OFVGA) is recommending all agri-food employees get COVID-19 testing.

To support testing of agricultural workers, and address concerns workers may have about testing, the OFVGA is launching the following five-point plan:

  • Work with government so that testing be made available on-farm, to decrease the risk of spread amongst workers congregating at central testing locations.
  • Work with government to develop and distribute culturally appropriate communications that address stigma and fears associated with COVID-19 and positive status so that workers feel comfortable being tested.
  • Work with government, public health officials and growers to distribute communications to workers that make it clear that no worker is at risk of being sent home if they test positive or develop symptoms.
  • Work with government to ensure all employees that test positive or are required to isolate have access to WSIB or equivalent wage replacement coverage.
  • Work with government to increase the use of active temperature screening of agriculture workers before work begins each day as a best practice by employers.

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