Harvest & COVID Changes Pt 1

Harvest & COVID Changes Pt 1

Bob Larson
Bob Larson
With today’s Fruit Grower Report, I’m Bob Larson. Since the CDC announced that anyone who is fully vaccinated doesn’t have to wear a mask or practice social distancing, many businesses, including agriculture began expecting, or at least looking for, changes in COVID restrictions.

Washington State Tree Fruit Association president, Jon DeVaney says we’re waiting…

DeVANEY … “It has been frustrating to say, well congratulations you’re vaccinated, nothing changes. It was a hard message to tell people. And so, now to be able to say, yes indeed you’ve been protected and so you don’t have to go through all these other burdensome measures. Those may no longer be required.”

But, DeVaney says the CDC announcement was a bit surprising …

DeVANEY … “So, the state has to update its rules so employers know what they need to do for those workers in their places of employment that haven’t been vaccinated. Getting to 100% is difficult. So, what do you do when you have part of your workers vaccinated and part not?”

DeVaney says we’ve gotten direction, but more is expected …

DeVANEY … “We did get some sort of indirect written guidance in the form of emails from the governor’s office clarifying that yes indeed that if you have verified that an employee is vaccinated, they don’t have to wear a mask or do social distancing in the workplace. Exactly what that will look like in fine detail is still to come out in written guidance for all businesses in the state.”

Tune in tomorrow for more on the potential changes to COVID restrictions for agriculture with harvest season fast approaching.

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