Housing for the Harvest Program

To learn more about a partnership between the State of California and the County of San Luis Obispo that helps provide hotel rooms and services for COVID-19 impacted farmer workers and food processing workers, visit our Housing for Harvest page.  

CDFA Guidances

Agriculture and Livestock Guidance

Agriculture and Livestock Checklist

Farmers' Markets Protocols

There are multiple ways to accomplish physical distancing at Farmers' Markets:

  • Space booths accordingly to increase social distancing among patrons in line and walking about the market.
  • Ensure that social distancing of six feet per person for non-family members is maintained and make clear that family members can participate in activities together, stand in line together, etc.
  • Limit the number of customers at any given time as necessary to reduce outdoor/indoor crowding and lines to meet social distancing guidance.
  • Eliminate events/marketing that target individuals that CDPH has identified as higher risk of serious illness for COVID19.
  • Encourage activities such as pre-bagging to expedite purchasing.
  • Suspend sampling activities.
  • Increase frequency of cleaning of tables, payment devices, and other surfaces.
  • Eliminate non-essential/non-related services, such as entertainment
We urge Farmers' Markets to establish protocols to ensure physical distancing within their markets.

Information Regarding Farm Operations

Agriculture has been identified as an essential business and this designation includes the cultivation, transportation and processing of agricultural commodities. We want to maintain the ability for agriculturalists to provide products to the community but we must maintain a level of safety to the public and those working in the industry such as farmworkers.

 CalOSHA
CalOSHA has provided a COVID-19 guidance document for the agricultural industry, available in both English and Spanish.
 AgSafe
AgSafe, an organization that strives to provide practical health and safety information to the agricultural community, has developed an Agricultural Workers Safe Work Practices handout available in both English and Spanish. 

Employers are encouraged to review the handout, provide workers copies, and use this in conjunction with other COVID-19 training resources available on the AgSafe websit

California Department of Pesticide Regulation (DPR) Guidance Regarding Potential PPE Shortages Due to the COVID-19 Crisis

The agricultural industry may soon be faced with the hardship of acquiring PPE such as chemical resistant gloves, single-use coveralls, protective eyewear, or N-95 respirators when supplies are exhausted. Due to the demands from the COVID-19 crisis, much of the PPE currently available is being prioritized to the healthcare industry. These are the same types of PPE that the agricultural industry relies on to comply with pesticide product labeling and pesticide regulatory requirements in order to protect pesticide applicators, handlers, and early-entry workers.

 

DPR’s current guideline regarding this hardship states:

  • Applicators/handlers will need to follow the current Laws and Regulations. The label determines the PPE required. Applicators/handlers can always be more restrictive/protective than what is called for on the label. The other alternative is for applicators/handlers to find an alternate
  • pesticide product to use that does not require the use of certain PPE, until the issue of back ordered items is resolved.
  • Growers and PCB’s are asked to carefully review all pesticide labels, State and Federal pesticide regulations, and PPE manufacturer instructions to ensure that they are complying with all requirements listed. We understand that this may create certain hardships for growers and pest control businesses, and we will work with growers directly if they have specific questions.
  • One method that may need to be implemented is to utilize certain PPE equipment longer than would ordinarily be standard practice. For instance, gloves and chemical resistant coveralls may be able to be re-used as long as the PPE is clean and undamaged, remaining in good condition and providing the protection required by label or regulation. Certain PPE gear that is specifically designated as a “single-use” item would not be able to be re-used. Please contact the San Luis Obispo County Department of Agriculture if you have specific PPE related questions.
 Guidance on Cloth Face Coverings
The County of San Luis Obispo and CDC have released guidance on how to effectively use cloth face coverings, available in English and Spanish, which should be shared with all employees. Remember, face coverings are not to be used in place of N-95 masks or respirators, where required by law, label, or regulation for pesticide applications, pesticide mix and load, or early entry activities

It has come to the attention of the County that some farm operations are not ensuring physical distancing, a mechanism paramount in slowing the spread of COVID19 within the community. The information has been specific to farmworkers tending crops. We urge you to promote and ensure physical distancing within your workforce. Establishing protocols to maintain a minimum physical distance of 6 feet between individuals working in the fields whenever possible will contribute to our goal of slowing the spread of COVID19 and protecting our community.  The link below will take you to resources, in both English and Spanish, developed by the California Strawberry Commission to help you educate and protect your workforce.

California Strawberry Commission Website

Again, we urge you to establish protocols to ensure physical distancing within your operations and to educate your workforce to promote their safety and the safety of others. 

We need your help to protect the community and our food supply.