Public health issues guidelines for H-2A employers, workers

Beaverhead County Public Health
Friday, March 27, 2020

Beaverhead County Public Health officers issued guidance for county H-2A temporary agricultural program employers and employees March 25.

With the continued increase of coronavirus cases in Montana, public health officials want to provide guidance to limit the spread while maintaining necessary operations.

Public Health has been receiving calls regarding the return of H2A workers, mostly from Mexico but possibly from other Latin American countries. This population is essential for our agricultural day-to-day work.

The following are recommendations to protect employees, employers and the public at large:

• All employees who are arriving from outside of the United States must self-isolate for 14 days upon arrival in Beaverhead County per Governor mandate. Please notify Public Health of arrivals from out of country.

• Employees must not travel together in a vehicle.

• Employees should be allowed to work outside, but must maintain 6-foot distance from each other even while outside, including during lunch breaks.

• Shared equipment should be sanitized when changing operators—including all surfaces commonly touched while operative the equipment.

• Good handwashing should be encouraged as often as possible. Encourage use after using the restroom, before eating, and before preparing food. If soap and water are unavailable, please provide hand sanitizer.

• Housing must accommodate six-foot separation.

• Employees must not travel into town for supplies until they have been in Beaverhead County for 14 days. Supplies will need to be provided by the employer until the 14-day period is completed.

• Employers should track their employees and are responsible for ensuring these guidelines are followed.

"The COVID-19 pandemic is currently the biggest threat to our country and our world. We implore all our citizens to please follow these actions to keep our community as safe as possible," Health Officer Dr. Megan Evans and Director Sue Hansen said.