COVID-19 Information for Farmers
Farmers need to be familiar with their role in the Ministry of Health's farm outbreak guidance. This includes a recommendation for farmers to carry out voluntary health assessments by a third-party provider.
Stay safe during COVID-19
Get provincial information and resources for the agricultural sector
This information outlines current requirements based on the provincial COVID-19 toolkit for farmers (the toolkit) and local order for farm owners and operators of international agriculture workers (previously referred to as temporary foreign workers) who live in employer-provided housing.
In an outbreak situation, Niagara Region Public Health may provide additional recommendations for farm owners and operators.
Farmers will need to keep updated contact lists of all workers (permanent, temporary or contract) and be able to give to Niagara Region Public Health within 24 hours when requested.
The toolkit outlines specific documentation responsibilities for farmers in the following sections:
- Mandatory testing and quarantine
- Temporary help agencies
- Establishing an employee attendance policy
Workers should be cohorted into groups as small as possible (no more than 10) and maintained at the workplace. Refer to the toolkit for details about about cohorting.
Masks and personal protective equipment
Farmers must supply medical masks to all workers. Workers should wear masks when they're using shared spaces or when physical distancing is not possible.
Public Health strongly recommends that workers continue to wear a mask.
Important information can be found in the "non-medical masks and personal protection equipment" section of the toolkit.
Cleaning and disinfection
Farmers can follow the best practices outlined in the toolkit.
Provide cleaning, hand washing and disinfection products to workers.
Maintain a cleaning log to track frequency of cleaning and disinfecting schedules within the workplace and in housing provided for workers.
The toolkit provides information and resources that Niagara farmers can follow regarding:
- Maximizing physical distancing at the workplace and in employer-provided housing
- Ensuring workers are informed for their rights and entitlements, including access to healthcare services and other supports such as wage-loss benefits that may be available if they get sick
- Guidelines for the Enhanced Agri-Food Workplace Protection Program has financial supports for outbreak management, including worker / employee wages or isolation costs and for prevention measures used to reduce the spread of COVID-19
- Agriculture and Horticulture: COVID-19 and Workplace Safety
- Register for free HEPA filter units (HEPA units are available on a first-come, first-served basis)
- Find out about COVID-19 vaccination in Niagara
- Workers vaccinated with a non-Health Canada approved vaccine can refer to the 'People who received vaccines not authorized by Health Canada' section
Reporting COVID-19 cases
Confirmed PCR and positive rapid molecular test results must be reported to Public Health.
Farm owners and operators should also report to Niagara Region Public Health if they have one or more positive cases, either by rapid antigen or PCR testing, as this may indicate a potential outbreak which would need to be investigated.
Farmers who need to speak to Environmental Health at Public Health about preventing transmission in agri-food facilities and employer-provided housing can email our Public Health inspectors or call 905-688-8248 ext. 7590.
Farmers can call the Clinical Services Division at Public Health to report outbreaks and get support on managing outbreaks at 905-688-8248 ext. 7330.