Health unit proactively visiting agri-farms

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When a farm worker does test positive for COVID-19, WECHU staff perform enhanced surveillance on the farm, ensuring all public health protocols are in place, and doing case and contact management to identify high-risk contacts and have them tested before the disease spreads further. The Ministry of Labour also becomes involved when a farm worker tests positive.

If they health unit finds evidence that transmission of COVID-19 may have happened on the farm, Ahmed said, the WECHU declares an outbreak and brings in community partners to support workers in need of isolation, medical care and further assistance.

An agricultural facility in Kingsville, where at least 18 workers have tested positive, is still under outbreak and being monitored by the health unit.

Since March, 1,200 farm workers in the local region have tested positive for COVID-19. They make up roughly 43 per cent of all cases in Windsor-Essex.

The federal government through Service Canada as well as the Ministry of Labour and  Ministry of Agriculture, Food, and Rural Affairs all perform inspections at farm facilities, Ahmed said.

Health unit CEO Theresa Marentette reported two new cases of COVID-19 on Wednesday. One is a close contact of someone who previously tested positive, and the origin of one case remains under investigation by public health unit staff.

Marentette also made a correction to the number of cases reported on Tuesday. One of the 10 cases was actually a resident from outside of Windsor-Essex, so that case was transferred to the appropriate health unit. Of the nine cases still standing locally, three were health-care workers — two local, one working in Michigan — and two were close contacts of positive cases. Two were attributed to community transmission and two were still under investigation on Wednesday.