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Mandatory Testing, Preventative Measures, and Safe Housing for Agricultural Workers – Emergency Order Under MCL 333.2253 – August 24 Deadline Approaching

On August 3, 2020, the MI Department of Health and Human Services issued an order that requires mandatory COVID-19 testing for migrant housing camps and agricultural workers. There are many issues with this Order and we’ve joined a coalition of Ag commodities working to make this less onerous for both our nursery and greenhouse members and their employees. Updates will be forwarded on our efforts but at this point we need to comply with the August 24th deadline. Here are details:

By August 24, 2020, the order requires:
Migrant housing camp operators to provide COVID-19 testing as follows:
–    One-time baseline testing of all residents ages 18 and over.
–    Testing of all new residents within 48 hours of arrival, with separate housing for newly arriving residents for 14 days and a second test 10–14 days after arrival.
–    Testing of any resident with symptoms or exposure.

All Agricultural employers of migrant or seasonal workers, meat, poultry and egg processing facilities and greenhouses with over 20 employees on-site at a time to provide COVID-19 testing as follows:
–    One-time baseline testing of all workers.
–    Testing of all new workers prior to any in-person work.
–    Testing of any worker with symptoms or exposure.

By August 10, 2020 the Order required employers and housing operators to complete a plan for conducting testing consistent with this order, using the template found as an attachment at the bottom of this page.

Definitions we’ve received from the MI Dept of Ag & Rural Development:
–    “Seasonal agriculture worker” means an individual who is employed in agricultural employment of a seasonal or other temporary nature and is not required to be absent overnight from his permanent place of residence.

–    “Agricultural employment
The term “agricultural employment” means employment in any service or activity included within the provisions of section 3(f) of the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938 ( 29 U.S.C. 203(f) ), or section 3121(g) of title 26 and the handling, planting, drying, packing, packaging, processing, freezing, or grading prior to delivery for storage of any agricultural or horticultural commodity in its unmanufactured state.

Click on the link below to go the State of MI’s website where you’ll find the Emergency Order, FAQs, Implementation Guidance, Templates, and Communication Resources:
 https://www.michigan.gov/coronavirus/0,9753,7-406-98178_101429---,00.html

AttachmentSize
Office spreadsheet icon Testing Plan Template42.5 KB