As farms enter peak harvest season, the possibility of a second wave of coronavirus and “cluster” outbreaks among farmworkers looms. Farm owners and workers have the opportunity to get up-to-date, relevant information on topics such as coronavirus testing options by tuning into an online forum at 1 p.m., EST, September 22 offered on www.agrisafe.org.
“This time of year is critical to most production farms in the Northeast. Coronavirus spread is a serious threat for farms since so many rely on seasonal employees who work closely together and live in shared housing,” said Dr. Julie Sorensen, director of the Northeast Center for Occupational Health and Safety: Agriculture, Forestry and Fishing, a sponsor of the event. “Most farms not only are ‘essential’ businesses but also simply can’t pause production.”
The webinar, titled “Lessons Learned in Covid-19 Prevention Efforts among Agriculture Workers and Employers,” will address timely coronavirus issues, such as transmission, prevention, testing and contact tracing, all presented within the framework of production agriculture. The panel, includes: Dr. Charles Hyman, an infectious disease practitioner at Bassett Healthcare Network (a Northeast Center affiliate); Chad Roy, Director of Infectious Disease Aerobiology at Tulane School of Medicine; Jennifer Lincoln and Dr. Douglas Trout, both from the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH); and Natalie Roy of AgriSafe Network.
To register for the 90-minute webinar, go to the “Upcoming Events” section of the Agrisafe Network’s home page (www.agrisafe.org). A recording will be available afterwards at https://learning.agrisafe.org.
The webinar is part of a series of free webinars marking National Farm Safety and Health Week, which runs from Sept. 21-25. The targeted audience includes agricultural employers, workers, farmers, ranchers, agribusiness and agricultural safety and health professionals.
The free Agrisafe forum is made possible through sponsorship from the Northeast Center and four other NIOSH regional agricultural centers across the country.
-Maryellen Driscoll, Northeast Center Communications Coordinator