Eight temporary foreign workers have tested positive for COVID-19: Agriculture Ministry

Eight temporary foreign workers have tested positive for the COVID-19 virus while in quarantine after arriving in B.C. this spring to work on farms.

So far, 1,549 temporary foreign workers have arrived in the province and have gone through, or are going through, the 14-day quarantine required by the federal government, the Ministry of Agriculture confirmed Wednesday.

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The eight farmworkers were screened by the federal government when they arrived at Vancouver International Airport. Both the Canadian Border Services Agency and Public Health Agency of Canada performed checks after the workers deplaned and before they were taken to the hotel provided by the province.

The province is taking care not to release workers from quarantine until they are cleared by public health. According to the ministry, seven of the eight workers who tested positive for COVID-19 have been cleared and have gone to work at different farms.

Temporary foreign workers work at farms of different sizes, growing different types of agricultural products.

However, all farms that receive workers must pass an inspection to verify they have implemented an infection prevention control plan and are following provincial guidance on how to manage COVID-19 risks in their places of work and accommodations.

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