COVID-19 is a virus that has affected many individuals and industries across the county and beyond. You cannot watch the news without hearing an update.
Landscapers and those working outside to grow ornamentals, mow lawns, engage in pest management, or trim trees may be at risk due to a lack of information and awareness about precautions to staying healthy.
According to Dr. Paula Thaqi, Director, Florida Department of Health in Broward County, “Landscaping and agriculture workers are an important part of our community. We want to make sure they have the best information to protect themselves against COVID-19.”
To reduce exposure to COVID-19, industry leaders are asking that technicians and work staff get quickly tested for COVID-19 if symptoms develop or they have been exposed to COVID-19.
How can we prevent the spread of COVID-19?
Engaging in proper handwashing for 20 seconds with soap and water, avoiding the practice of handshaking, covering coughs and sneezes, maintaining a distance of at least 6 feet between you and other people, staying home if you are sick, and wearing a face mask (cloth face covering) are important steps in preventing the spread of COVID-19.
Regular handwashing can be challenging since many spend much of their day in a truck and on job sites without nearby restroom facilities. Handwashing and/or the use of hand sanitizer before and after eating is very important. The Centers for Disease Control recommend using a hand sanitizer with at least 60 percent alcohol. https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/hcp/hand-hygiene.html Social distancing needs to be maintained at lunch and during breaks. Workers should avoid touching their face, especially mouth, eye and nose areas. A face covering should be used when traveling to and from all job sites.
Agriculture and horticulture workers need to know the symptoms of COVID-19 and where to get tested if they develop symptoms or are exposed to COVID-19.
What are the symptoms of COVID-19?
3. Shortness of breath
5. Body aches
6. Runny or stuffy nose
7. Sore throat
8. Abdominal pain
14. Some have experienced the loss of smell or taste
What does a COVID-19 test involve?
Testing for COVID-19 is quick and simple. A swab is inserted into the nose or throat to collect a specimen that is sent to the laboratory for testing. You will receive your results by telephone or text. If you test positive, you will be given important information about how to care for yourself and protect those you come in contact with.
Where can you get tested for COVID-19?
There are specimen collection sites for COVID-19 testing throughout Broward County. Most are free and do not require appointments, others do require appointments and are billed through insurance. It is best to call ahead to see what is required before you travel to a site.
Be mindful of the days and hours of operation.
Testing requirements and locations are subject to change.
Please see https://www.broward.org/CoronaVirus/Pages/Collection-Sites.aspx for the most updated information about specimen collection sites.
Call 954-412-7300 for an appointment at a testing site run by the Florida Department of Health in Broward County.
Be knowledgeable before you travel to
a COVID-19 testing site.
According to Renée Podolsky, Community Health Director, Florida Department of Health in Broward County, “Public specimen collection sites for COVID-19 testing offer free services and usually operate with little or no wait time”.
Testing sites can be walk-up sites or drive-thru sites.
WALK-UP SITES (no vehicle required):
What is a walk-up testing site?
Walk-up testing sites are those sites that people can walk right up to and get tested. A vehicle is not required for an individual to get tested. People need to wear a face mask/cloth face covering and social distance when standing in line with others.
What is a drive-thru testing site?
A drive-thru testing site is one in which you will need to be seated in a vehicle to receive a test. A person will drive up to the site, remain seated in their vehicle the entire time, complete the necessary steps and receive a COVID-19 test. People who arrive on foot will not be tested. Individuals arriving on a motorcycle will be tested; those arriving on a bicycle or via golf cart etc. will not be tested. Individuals will be screened through a vehicle window. Multiple people may be tested inside one vehicle, but each person must be seated in a window seat. No one in a middle seat will be tested.
The health and safety of our residents is a major concern. Help spread the word about ways to prevent COVID-19 and the location of Broward COVID-19 testing sites. Please share this information with others that may not be online.
Consider posting this type of information in areas such as office clock-in sites, porta-potty doors, in restrooms, at company fueling stations, equipment and vehicle key pick-up areas, and handwashing stations.
See additional resources below.
Get tested today.
For further information:
1. UF/IFAS Extension, Broward County, Family and Consumer Sciences website – http://sfyl.ifas.ufl.edu/broward/family-and-consumer-sciences/information-for-families-and-consumers/
2. UF/IFAS Extension, Broward County, Family and Consumer Sciences blogs –https://blogs.ifas.ufl.edu/browardco/2020/03/19/covid-19-no-hype-just-sights-sounds-and-simple-advice/
3. UF/IFAS Extension, Broward County, Family and Consumer Sciences YouTube- https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCMi7jhWSsEwW4LQNuj4daHg?view_as=subscriber
4. UF/IFAS Extension, Broward County, Commercial Horticulture website- https://sfyl.ifas.ufl.edu/broward/commercial-horticulture-program-/
5. Florida Department of Health – http://floridahealth.gov
6. Florida Department of Health Resource Toolkit, https://floridahealthcovid19.gov/resources/#toolkit
7. CDC/Coronavirus- https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html