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LANSING, MICH. – The director of the Michigan Division of Well being and Human Providers (MDHHS) issued an emergency order on Aug. 3 that will require COVID-19 testing for all agricultural and meals processing workers.
This announcement comes after Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer signed an govt order in July to require safety for workers at meatpacking crops in the course of the pandemic.
Michigan state officers stated 11 outbreaks have been recognized in farms and meals processing crops within the state in latest weeks. MDHHS additionally acknowledged that though Latinos characterize 5% of Michigan’s inhabitants, they characterize 11% of the COVID circumstances when a person’s ethnicity is recognized.
“The women and men who work in our fields and meals processing crops are at explicit danger for COVID-19, and so they want and deserve safety,” stated Robert Gordon, director of the Michigan Division of Well being and Human Providers. “At this time’s order will assist to scale back the unfold of COVID in communities throughout Michigan and cut back the pandemic’s disparate affect on Latinos.”
The order states that every one migrant housing camp operators present COVID-19 testing as a one-time baseline take a look at to all residents over the age of 18. All new residents who arrive inside 48 hours should be examined, with separate housing out there for newly arriving residents for 14 days. A second take a look at should be administered 10-14 days after arrival.
Employers of migrant or seasonal staff within the meat, poultry and egg processing amenities with over 20 workers should additionally present a one-time baseline take a look at to all staff, take a look at all new staff previous to any in-person work and take a look at any employee with signs.
Gordon stated his division will work with employers and housing operators to have well timed reporting and testing knowledge together with entry to PPE to forestall the unfold of COVID-19.
“Guaranteeing the well being and security of Michigan’s important meals and agriculture staff is paramount to retaining our meals provide chain shifting,” stated Gary McDowell, director of the Michigan Division of Agriculture and Rural Improvement. “These staff are our frontline employees who’re an important a part of bringing our meals from farm to plate.”
The company additionally set a deadline of Aug. 10 for employers and housing operators to finish a plan to implement testing. MDHHS is requiring baseline testing to be accomplished no later than Aug. 24.
“Employers and housing operators have a number of choices for finishing the required testing, together with contracting with a medical supplier, occupational well being supplier or laboratory to rearrange a testing program; requesting state help to conduct testing; or using testing assets within the broader neighborhood,” the manager order stated. “The state will present testing assist for employers or housing operators as its capability permits and help amenities in figuring out different sources of testing capability as wanted.”