COVID-19 has had an unprecedented impact on all industries, including agriculture and the US food system. The resources provided below are intended to help agricultural businesses prevent and mitigate the impacts of COVID-19 to employees and business operations. If you have specific questions about the guidance or worker health and safety on your ag business, please email us: email@example.com.
Viruses constantly change through mutation, and new variants of a virus are expected to occur. COVID-19 prevention and mitigation strategies must account for changes in infection and spread caused by new virus variants. Visit CDC’s resources on variants of the virus for more information on current and any future variants.
COVID-19 Technical Support for Dairies
Are you looking for help implementing or understanding COVID-19 mitigation on your dairy farm? COVID-19 vaccine education? A team of regional collaborators received funding from the USDA to assist dairies in responding to COVID-19 and promoting worker health, safety, and well-being. Pre-recorded webinars are available in English, Spanish, and K’iche. View recorded webinars and other resources. For more information or to request assistance, contact Dr. Anabel Rodriguez at Anabel.Rodriguez@uth.tmc.edu or (210) 276-9019.
South Dakota dairy farms can contact Dr. Maristela Rovai, SDSU Dairy Extension Specialist, at Maristela.Rovai@sdstate.edu or 605-688-5488 for technical assistance.
State and National Resources
National VaccineFinder: https://www.vaccines.gov/
Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA)
- Protecting Workers: Guidance on Mitigating and Preventing the Spread of COVID-19 in the Workplace
- General COVID-19 information from OSHA
United States Department of Agriculture (USDA): General COVID-19 information from USDA
Farmworkers: Una Voz Para La Salud/Call for Health
Nation-wide, toll-free, bilingual health information and referral service for farmworkers and their families:
- Phone: 1 (800) 377-9968
- Whatsapp: 1 (737) 414-5121
- Facebook: www.facebook.com/UnaVozParalaSalud
- Instagram: www.instagram.com/UnaVozParalaSalud
- Colorado COVID-19 information — including testing and vaccination
- Colorado Department of Agriculture COVID-19 Information
- COVID-19 Guidance for the Agricultural Industry from the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (Spanish version)
- Montana COVID-19 information — including testing and vaccination
- North Dakota COVID-19 information — including testing and vaccination
- North Dakota Department of Agriculture – COVID-19 Guidance for Agriculture
- Utah COVID-19 Information — including testing and vaccination
- Wyoming COVID-19 Information — including testing and vaccination
Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)
Provide personal protective equipment (PPE) for disinfection procedures according to the information on the product label or Safety Data Sheet.
Gloves: Gloves should be worn during cleaning and sanitation procedures according the instructions of the product being used. If relevant, gloves may also be worn at the point of sale when handling money and providing food directly to customers.
Respirators: Filtering facepiece respirators and elastomeric respirators (with P100-level particulate protection) do provide adequate protection against COVID-19. If you already have these respirators in your supply, they may be used for infection control.
In situations where employers provide housing, review these additional considerations to ensure the health of employers in these facilities:
- Provide additional hand soap and cleaning/disinfection supplies.
- Establish cleaning and disinfection procedures for high touch surfaces and shared spaces such as sleeping quarters, kitchens, eating areas, bathrooms, and laundry facilities.
- Allow for 6ft separation whenever possible, including sleeping arrangements.
- Establish daily health checks.
- Create a plan for isolating residents with COVID-19.
- Shared Housing and COVID-19: Everyday Tips for Extraordinary Times
- Farmworker Housing Simulator This simulation tool is designed to show how easily a virus can spread among farmworkers based on room size and how beds are arranged in their housing. It also suggests alternative room arrangements to help prevent or reduce the spread of illness within a shared space.
- Guidance for Fruit and Vegetable Operations: Considerations to Protect Seasonal Workers Supporting Fruit and Vegetable Operations during Harvesting and Processing and in Shared/Communal Housing During COVID-19
Shared Transportation and Vehicles
Transportation to and from the worksite:
If employees provide their own transportation, discourage carpooling. Where possible, advise employees to ride alone or be dropped off by a family member. When this is not possible, encourage them to wear a cloth face covering when riding in a vehicle with another person.
If employer provides transportation, make adjustments to provide for adequate social distancing and
- Do not sit a person in every seat
- Increase the number of trips or the number of vehicles
- Encourage all riders to wear a cloth face covering
Disinfecting vehicles: In the event of an outbreak,. all vehicles should be disinfected between users/riders, or at minimum once per day. Conduct thorough disinfection of high touch surfaces: operator controls, seat belts, door handles, air vents, window controls, armrests, etc. See CDC’s Cleaning, Disinfecting, and Ventilation resources for more guidance.
- All communication and training for workers should be easy to understand and should be provided in languages appropriate to the preferred languages spoken or read by those receiving the training.
- Document training topics and training attendance. Utilize this training log for your records.
- Maintain social distancing while training. Train in small groups and outdoors, where possible. If utilizing videos, allow workers to watch individually on their mobile devices.
Agricultural Employer Training Guide: find a script for providing tailgate training on COVID-19 basics, personal prevention, and workplace prevention (English & Spanish) plus additional training tools (presentation files, flipcharts, etc.) via the Western Center for Agricultural Health and Safety here.
The links below are to video resources that can be used as training tools. Language is indicated for each video.
- NC State Extension Videos 3-part series [Spanish]
- COVID-19: Información Basica para Trabajadores de Lecheria/ COVID-19: Basic Information for Dairy Workers [Spanish with English Subtitles]
Cleaning and Disinfection
- Prevención de COVID-19: Limpiar y desinfectar [Spanish]
- Guia para limpiar y desinfectar casas para prevenir COVID19 [Spanish]
- COVID-19 Prevention: Cleaning and Disinfecting [English]
Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)
- Desinfectar Su Respirador de Media Cara [Spanish]
Stress Management and Mental Health Resources
Taking Care of Your Behavioral Health – Tips for Social Distancing, Quarantine, and Isolation During and Infectious Disease Outbreak – Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA)
Webinar Series – 6 Weeks to Improve Resiliency for Farmers
Free, 30-minute online sessions provided by Lauren Ziegler of My Still Life. More information about each session is available from the Colorado Fruit and Vegetable Growers Association.
- Week 1 – Resilience: Navigating Changes (Watch)
- Week 2 – Managing Daily Aches & Pains (Watch)
- Week 3 – Hands-on Tools for Stress Management (Watch)
- Week 4 – Exercises During Work (Watch)
- Week 5 – Tools for Insomnia (Watch)
- Week 6 – Lifestyle for High Performance Moving Forward (Watch)
Signs and Symptoms of Stress – Signs and Symptoms of Stress from the Upper Midwest Ag Safety and Health Center
Regional Crisis Services
Colorado Crisis Services: 1-844-493-8255
Avera Farm and Rural Stress Hotline (Dakotas): 1-800-691-4336
National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-8255 or 9-8-8