Bloomberg reports that one farm in Tennessee distributed Covid-19 tests to all workers after an employee came down with the virus. It turned out every one of its roughly 200 employees was 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: Farm workers are getting sick and spreading the illness just as the US 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.