Advocates for migrant farmworkers in North Carolina are urging state and federal agencies to protect those workers amid the new coronavirus pandemic.
The Rudd Strawberry Farm in Guilford County has temporarily closed after eight of its workers tested positive for COVID-19, state health officials said earlier this week. The spread of the virus was related to the on-site housing for its farmworkers.
The N.C. Department of Health and Human Services has listed the farm as Guilford County’s fourth “congregate living facility” with an ongoing outbreak of COVID-19, according to the agency’s website.
The first positive case of the coronavirus in a seasonal agricultural worker was confirmed earlier this month by a health clinic in Harnett County, according to a news report.
The clinic, CommWell Health in Dunn, didn’t identify the worker, citing federal medical-privacy laws. The worker, who lives in North Carolina, was quarantined during his or her illness, the clinic said.
A farmer in Forsyth County said he has taken measures to protect his workers from the virus.
The Farmworker Advocacy Network sent a letter on March 31 to Gov. Roy Cooper, urging him to enact five of its recommendations to protect the farmworkers who provide food and agricultural products that state residents and North Carolina’s economy need.Continue reading this article