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Health, Science and Environment

Michigan health officials to require food and agricultural workers get COVID testing

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After eleven reported coronavirus outbreaks on farms and food processing plants, state health officials say they will now require workers to get tested.

The order from the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services will require migrant camps and processing facilities with more than 20 employees on-site at a time to test workers who are new and those who are symptomatic. The order also requires one baseline test of all workers.

Andrea Taverna with the department said outbreaks at farms or processing facilities have been a national trend.

“This order really makes Michigan a national leader in addressing that and preventing that.”

Taverna said farms can either conduct their own testing or request state assistance to conduct testing.

“If someone tests positive, migrant housing operators would be required to provide isolation housing for that individual. A separate place where they could stay and hopefully prevent spread to different individuals.”

Employers are asked to help connect workers with economic supports should they have to leave work while infected.

Completion of baseline testing is required by no later than August 24th.