191 Cases of COVID-19 at One Farm Results in Health Unit Order

am800-news-migrant-workers

The Windsor-Essex County Health Unit has issued an order to a local farm due to a high number of positive cases of COVID-19 among workers.

According to the health unit, 191 new cases of COVID-19 were found at a single farm. It's not clear yet if the farm is in Kingsville or Leamington but given the size of this outbreak and the potential for transmission, Medical Officer of Health Dr. Wajid Ahmed issued the order Wednesday morning.

The order requires the farm operator to isolate all workers. regardless of whether or not they received a positive test result, and prohibits them from working until further notice.

Chris Ramsaroop is with Justice for Migrant Workers and says the order does not go far enough to address the pandemic and spreading the virus to other farms.

"The order should be much more wide spread and protect workers across the Windsor-Essex region number one," says Ramsaroop.  "Number two, we have questions around enforcement, how are they going to ensure that this order is going to be enforced."     

He say he's also concerned about anti-reprisal measures.

"What will happen if workers speak out, if the order is not being enforced," says Ramsaroop.  "What would happen if workers speak out that they don't feel that the necessary protections are going to be provided even with this order being issued." 

In his order, Dr. Ahmed goes on to say "the safety and well-being of all workers is our top priority and it's imperative that we stop the transmission of COVID-19."

 

— with files from AM800's Rob Hindi