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Health + Fitness

May 30, 2020 - Insurance Journal

Farm Workers Getting Sick, Spreading Coronavirus As Peak Produce Season Begins

Farm Workers Getting Sick, Spreading Coronavirus As Peak Produce Season Begins
Farm workers, hard labourFile Photo / © Photabulous!

All of the roughly 200 employees on a produce farm in Tennessee tested positive for Covid-19 this month. In New Jersey, more than 50 workers had the virus at a farm in Gloucester County, adding to nearly 60 who fell ill in neighboring Salem County. Almost 170 were reported to get the disease at a tomato and strawberry greenhouse complex in Oneida, New York.

The outbreaks underscore the latest coronavirus threat to America's food supply: Farm workers are getting sick and spreading the illness just as the U.S. heads into the peak of the summer produce season.

In all likelihood, the cases will keep climbing as more than half a million seasonal employees crowd onto buses to move among farms across the country and get housed together in cramped bunkhouse-style dormitories.

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