New York Farm Bureau continues to monitor the spread of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) and we are in close contact with our industry partners and state agencies to mitigate any potential issues that may affect our members.
New York Farm Bureau encourages our members to take appropriate precautions. This includes thoroughly disinfecting all areas where workers and the public could potentially come into contact with the COVID-19. Also, you and your team should properly wash your hands on a regular basis, and everyone should also take action to routinely disinfect farmworker housing. This is of utmost importance because a widespread outbreak or quarantine on a farm could seriously hamper the ability to care for livestock or accomplish other critical tasks.
It is also important to advise sick employees or those who may have come into contact with someone who is contagious to stay home. Food safety and bio security are always priorities on farms and this virus doesn’t change that. Farms must continue to do due diligence in the face of so many unknowns.
New York State’s website has the latest information on the virus as well as a host of tips and best practices that you can use to prevent the spread of the illness. Click here to access the page. https://health.ny.gov/diseases/communicable/coronavirus/
The State is also considering requiring paid sick leave for those individuals who are in either a mandatory or voluntary quarantine or otherwise unable to attend work due to the COVID-19. This proposal would need to be acted on by the Legislature and could be considered as soon as next week.
New York Farm Bureau also was in Washington, D.C. this week and met with lawmakers. One concern we shared is that further travel restrictions that may be implemented could delay or prevent guest workers from entering the U.S. This could create serious issues for farms who need employees to begin spring work. We will stay on top of this and share any information with you, but your farm may want to think about potential backup plans or actions should this happen.
While the CDC is currently indicating that “for most people, the immediate risk of being exposed to the virus that causes COVID-19 is thought to be low,” New York Farm Bureau will continue to monitor the situation for the health and safety of our members and employees. Click here for up to date CDC information: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html While we have taken some internal precautions as recommended by public health experts, we continue to operate as usual with all of our offices open for business. As this situation continues to develop, we will keep members apprised of any updates.
If you have any questions about the COVID-19, you can also reach out to your county health department. Click here for contact information for your county health department: https://health.ny.gov/contact/contact_information/index.htm