During the course of the earlier months of the COVID-19 pandemic, certain elements of the broader agriculture and livestock industry faced significant challenges associated with coronavirus contamination and infection spread. As a result, keeping people safe going forward into the future demands the implementation of certain cleaning and disinfection protocols coupled with physical distancing guidelines for the California agriculture and livestock industry.
California Agriculture and Livestock Industry Cleaning and Disinfection Protocols
There are a number of recommended cleaning and disinfection protocols that have been established by California public health officials for the agriculture and livestock industry:
- Perform regular thorough cleaning in all high traffic areas.
- Frequently disinfect commonly used surfaces and objects throughout a facility, including countertops as well doorknobs and door handles.
- Clean and sanitize any shared equipment between every use.
- Clean all touchable working surfaces in a facility between users or between shifts, whichever of these is the most frequently occurring.
- Make certain that any type of delivery vehicle, including cabs, as well as associated equipment is thoroughly cleaned and appropriately sanitized before and after the delivery routes. Vehicles should be equipped with sanitation products while en route making deliveries.
- Discourage sharing telephones as well as other types of work equipment or tools as a matter of general practice.
- Make certain that all sanitary facilities on the premises remain fully operational and suitably stocked at all times.
- Endeavor to stagger breaks to allow for proper cleaning and sanitization of break areas and other common spaces.
- Clean restrooms frequently.
- Utilize only sanitization products that have been listed by the Environmental Protection Agency or EPA for use against COVID-19. Be certain to follow product instructions when using these agents.
- Ensure that workers have an appropriate amount of time before during, and after shifts to implement appropriate cleaning and disinfection practices and protocols.
- Consider hiring an experienced, reputable third-party COVID-19 cleaning company to regularly deep clean and disinfect a facility.
- Consider upgrades to the HVAC system to improve and enhance ventilation and air filtration in an agricultural or livestock facility.
As noted in the summary of cleaning and disinfection protocols, California public officials and the Office of the Governor jointly recommend engaging the services of an experienced, professional COVID-19 cleaning company to assist in providing assistance in preventing contamination and infection spread. A coronavirus cleaning and disinfection company can assist in providing an enterprise in the agriculture and livestock industry with strategies to prevent COVID-19 contamination. In addition, a coronavirus remediation company can provide rapid remediation of COVID-19 contamination when needed.
In addition to following the day to day cleaning and disinfection directives outlined here, enterprises in the agriculture and livestock industry need to do more. In order to best protect the safety, health, and welfare of people associated with this industry, professional coronavirus cleaning and disinfection should be scheduled on a regular and recurring basis.
California Agriculture and Livestock Industry Physical Distancing Guidelines
California and national public officials are in broad agreement that the best way to control the spread of COVID-19 is through physical distancing. Indeed, infectious disease experts credit social distancing as being the primary reason why the spread of COVID-19 has come to become more controlled in California and across the United States. It is believed that physical distancing will be at the heart of controlling coronavirus contamination and spread going forward into the future. With this in mind, there is a set of recommended physical distancing guidelines for the California agriculture and livestock industry:
- Implement procedures to physically separate workers by a minimum of six feet. This can be accomplished using measures like physical partitions as well as easily understood physical cues. These physical cues can include colored tape and floor markings together with the generous use of signs indicating where workers should stand.
- Take all reasonable steps to minimize exposure between individual workers when physical distancing practices cannot be maintained. For example, the use of Plexiglas barriers can be helpful in minimizing exposure.
- Face masks should be used in a facility, particularly when physical distancing protocols cannot be maintained.
- Adjust the ways in which meetings are conducted to maintain physical distancing. Take advantage of digital meeting alternatives when reasonable.
- Adjust work practices to maintain distance between workers and to limit the number of employees at work at any particular time.
- Stagger employee breaks and meal periods to prevent violations of six feet distancing directives.
- Designate delivery locations away from high-traffic areas.
Employee Control and Screening Measures
A business in the agriculture and livestock industry also needs to implement employee control and screening measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19 as the business continues to amp up. These include:
- Regular symptom screening and temperature checks of employees.
- Direct workers who are sick or experiencing symptoms that can be associated with COVID-19 to stay home.
- Encourage frequent handwashing and the regular use of hand sanitizer.
- Provide disposable gloves to workers using disinfectants and cleaning agents.
- Consider gloves to supplement frequent handwashing.
- Strongly encourage the use of masks.
By following these protocols and guidelines, a business in the agriculture and livestock industry enhances the safety of its facility. The health and wellbeing of workers and others are better protected during the COVID-19 pandemic.