Harvest & COVID Changes Pt 2

Harvest & COVID Changes Pt 2

Bob Larson
Bob Larson
With today’s Fruit Grower Report, I’m Bob Larson. The CDC seems to think it’s time for vaccinated individuals to go maskless and disregard social distancing, but beyond that, how soon will agriculture see rules relaxed?

Jon DeVaney, president of the Washington State Tree Fruit Association, says some rules will take more time to change …

DeVANEY … “The temporary worker housing side, that was formal rule making for that emergency rule so it will take a little bit longer, is our understanding, to get that language formally adjusted.”

And, DeVaney says the temporary rules are still in place …

DeVANEY … “You’ve got the mix of the temporary worker housing rule, which is in force, and then you have those rules that were in place both for agriculture and for other businesses that were the result of an emergency proclamation from the governor.”

That, DeVaney says is what they’re waiting on …

DeVANEY … “So, if that state of emergency is declared over, those rules would go away. But, the temporary worker housing rules would remain in place until it expires or is modified or is revoked.”

DeVaney says it’s possible some changes will come this week …

DeVANEY … “We’re anticipating and asking that the state move towards more normalized operations ahead of this harvest so that that aggressive investment in offering vaccinations to workers in the community have the payoff of being able to lead more normal lives and do what we all need to do in our businesses.”

DeVaney says there are likely to still be some provisions beyond the June 30th reopening date set by the governor, but only time will tell.

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