Fourteen additional agricultural farm workers have contracted COVID-19 locally, the Windsor-Essex County Health Unit reported on Friday.
Over the course of the week, 57 out of the region’s 74 new confirmed cases were among employees of agricultural farms, including migrant workers and community residents.
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“These individuals share homes, sometimes 12 to 15 people in one house,” medical officer of health Dr. Wajid Ahmed said regarding migrant workers in bunk houses who have tested positive for COVID-19. “If one or two of them get a case, guess what: everyone else is going to get a case, too. You can easily see that number multiply.”
Although Lakeside Produce in Leamington identified itself on May 12 as one facility where migrant workers had tested positive — 13 of them, at that point — the health unit will not name any other farms with confirmed cases among its employees. While long-term care and retirement homes are subject to disclosure practices similar to those in place at restaurants inspected by public health, private businesses like agricultural farms are not, Ahmed said.