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Man wearing cloth face covering in grove.

COVID-19 Resources for Martin County Agribusinesses

Woman wearing face covering and planting flowersUF/IFAS Extension Martin County and the Department of Health, Martin County (DOH-Martin) are working together to provide resources for agribusinesses to reduce the spread of COVID-19 in our community.  Resources offered include cloth face coverings, COVID-19 testing, workplace training and safety posters, and safety guidance updates.

Cloth Face Coverings Available from DOH-Martin

With increasing cases of COVID-19 in our area, safety precautions, including cloth face coverings, have become even more important.  To help meet the need for protective face coverings, the Florida Department of Health is offering free cloth face coverings to agribusiness employers for distribution to their workforce.  To arrange for pick-up of face coverings for your company, please contact Renay Rouse at renay.rouse@flhealth.gov or 772-221-4004.

COVID-19 is thought to be primarily spread person-to-person by respiratory droplets released when talking, sneezing, or coughing.  Face coverings can help to contain respiratory droplets and reduce the chances an infected wearer will spread the virus.  Since COVID-19 can be spread even when the infected person does not have symptoms, face coverings are recommended for everyone, especially when social distancing is not possible.

UF/IFAS Extension Broward County Agent, Brenda Marty-Jimenez, offers more information about cloth face coverings in her blog “Staying Well During COVID-19: Importance of Wearing a Face Covering for Landscape Maintenance Personnel, Growers, and Pest Management Professionals.”

COVID-19 Testing and Contact Tracing

For questions about COVID-19 testing, contact the DOH-Martin local call center, which is available Monday – Friday, 8:00 am – 5:00 pm, 772-221-4000, option # 9. DOH-Martin continues to do case investigation and contact tracing. Contact tracing is essential to stop the spread, because it provides the opportunity to talk 1:1 with cases and their contacts and provide specific instructions on what people should be doing to prevent further transmission.

Workplace Training

UF/IFAS Extension Martin County and DOH-Martin are available to offer online trainings in English and/or Spanish for agribusinesses and their employees on best practices, including trainings for agribusiness owners/managers in developing a workplace safety plan and safety trainings for employees.  To request a training for your company, please contact UF/IFAS Extension Martin County (goodiel@ufl.edu) or the DOH-Martin (Marybeth.Pena@flhealth.gov).

Safety Guidance Posters and Updates

The Florida Department of Health (DOH) offers COVID-19 safety posters with guidance for businesses and employees and best practices to prevent spread of COVID-19.  One such resource is the COVID-19 Agriculture Workers and Employers Guidance, developed to help agribusinesses navigate and apply the June 11, 2020 CDC Interim Guidance for Agriculture Workers and Employers. To receive updated safety guidance, visit the DOH website or contact the DOH COVID-19 Call Center anytime 24/7 at (866) 779-6121 or COVID-19@flhealth.gov.  DOH-Martin also has a local call center available Monday-Friday, 8:00 am – 5:00 pm, 772-221-4000, option # 9.

To find additional information, the Southeastern Coastal Center for Ag Health and Safety offers a compilation of online resources for agribusinesses available from the state Departments of Health, CDC, OSHA, Farmworker Advocacy Organizations and others.

If you have additional information needs, please reach out to UF/IFAS Extension Martin County at (772) 419-6962 or goodiel@ufl.edu.

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