Good Thing CDC is Counting Asymptomatics: Every Single Migrant Worker at One Farm in TN Tests Positive for the Wuhan
One farm in Tennessee distributed Covid-19 tests to all of its workers after an employee came down with the virus. It turned out that every single one of its roughly 200 employees had been infected.
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. Washington state’s Yakima County, an agricultural area that produces apples, cherries, pears, and most of the nation’s hops, has the highest per capita infection rate of any county on the West Coast.
The outbreaks underscore the latest pandemic threat to food supply: Farmworkers 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.
The early outbreaks are already starting to draw comparisons to the infections that plunged the U.S. meat industry into a crisis over the past few months. Analysts and experts are warning that thousands of farmworkers are vulnerable to contracting the disease.