CDC releases checklist for ag employers to prevent COVID-19

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released a checklist to help farmers plan for potential outbreaks of COVID-19.

Based on guidance from the CDC and the U.S. Department of Labor, the checklist walks agricultural employers through a detailed series of steps to assess risks on their operations, and to prevent and slow the spread of COVID-19. Control plans are important for farmers to protect both themselves and their employees, the CDC says.

Public health officials recommend farmers designate a workplace coordinator who’s responsible for assessment and control planning. That person can act as a point person for other employees. It’s also important that workers are updated on public health guidelines and information on where to get tested for the coronavirus.

The checklist has five sections:

  • Assessment of the operation for risks.
  • Development of a control plan based on the “Hierarchy of Controls.”
  • Special considerations for shared housing.
  • Special considerations for shared transportation.
  • Special considerations for children.

While the CDC recommends workers wear cloth face coverings to prevent the spread of the virus, those don’t always keep the virus contained—for example, if they get wet or need to be removed during breaks. Because of that, officials stress that social distancing is important whenever possible.