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Huron Perth Public Health issues special order for farms with migrant workers
WATERLOO -- A Section 22 order has been issued by Huron Perth Public Health to farms in the area with migrant workers in order to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
The special order, which comes into effect Tuesday at noon, requires employers of migrant workers to follow any direction provided by public health.
This includes ensuring employees self-isolate with proper supports in place and work exclusively in one place, public health measures are followed on the work site, contact information is available, and that employees can communicate with HPPH and management.
“Proper self-isolation and public health measures were already part of public health guidance provided to owners and operators,” said Dr. Miriam Klassen, Medical Officer of Health for HPPH, in a statement.
“This order does not come as a result of issues identified with our farms, but rather serves as a legal mechanism to ensure the health and safety of workers is protected and HPPH guidance is followed.”
The order will remain in effect until the medical officer of health determines it is no longer needed.
As of June 30, there are 57 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Huron and Perth counties, with no outbreaks at any facilities.
This decision comes as a single farm in Windsor-Essex, Ont. was linked to 175 new cases of COVID-19 in the province on Monday.
Health Minister Christine Elliott said in a tweet that the rise comes after "extensive testing this weekend of temporary workers in Southwestern Ontario."
More than 1,000 agricultural workers have been diagnosed with COVID-19 in Ontario since the start of the pandemic, according to the advocacy group Justice for Migrant Workers.
Two temporary foreign workers from Mexico have died from the disease in the Windsor-Essex region. A third migrant worker who was employed on a farm in Norfolk County has also died after testing positive.