- Download the CDC app on your phone for the latest updates.
- Bookmark websites on your computer that can help you stay up to date with current facts about the infection and your local situation:
- Provide educational material (in Spanish) to all farmworkers on COVID-19 mitigation and incorporate proper hand-washing technique demonstration into health education (COVID-19 Symptoms SP; COVID-19 Health Tips SP).
- Practice self-care during this stressful time and remind farmworkers to do the same (CDC Managing Anxiety and Stress SP).
- Learn your host agency’s emergency plans, policies and procedures for patients who have either symptoms or exposure to COVID-19 and follow their directives to keep yourself healthy.
- Find your counties’ Emergency Management Agency phone numbers on this website and save them in your phone. They may be able to advise you on local resources for specific farmworker needs. Consider contacting them proactively and offering to serve as a connection point and interpreter for the farmworker community. Ask if you could be allowed to attend any of their planning meetings to include farmworkers in their emergency response plans.
- Plan how you and your team will contact each of your farmworker patients to provide them with information about closures and emergency healthcare/quarantine/isolation facilities in your area if the need arises.
- Make sure to document follow up to any potential cases in your case management system (e.g., patient is well and staying, patient leaving, ill but ok to stay, ill and seeking care, and so on). For NCFHP-funded sites, this can be done in the notes section in FHASES.
- Help farmworkers with chronic diseases keep an adequate supply of their usual medications so they don’t run out if they need to be in quarantine. Consider doing porch drops or mailing medications.
- Consider contacting the county health department of one of the counties where you have substantial farmworker patients and asking if you can be at the emergency planning meetings to advise on farmworker-specific issues. (One pressing and unique issue will be how to isolate COVID-19-infected farmworkers who are not sick enough to be in the hospital but live in group housing, and how to quarantine exposed but well farmworkers.)
- Know your Migrant Youth Program and Migrant Head Start colleagues’ phone numbers if there are programs in your regions. If youth or children are affected, they may be able to help.
Please remember that outreach staff are not expected to meet all of the patients’ needs alone, nor to be first responders. The federal and state agencies, as well as county health departments, are preparing quickly to meet this health concern.
Proposed simple educational message for farmworkers on COVID-19 mitigation:
“The symptoms of this infection are similar to a common cold and include sore throat, cough or fever. For a few people it may become pneumonia and cause shortness of breath. People at highest risk of pneumonia include those with diabetes or another chronic disease and those over the age of 65 years old. Smoking can also increase your risk.
“Washing your hands for 20 seconds frequently, but especially before you eat, is the most effective way to prevent becoming infected. Separating people with symptoms from people without symptoms is also very important to prevent the spread of this infection. Please call your outreach worker if you or your coworker have symptoms of sore throat, cough or fever.”