Aug 17, 2020Court upholds Michigan order requiring COVID testing of farm workers
The U.S. District Court for the Western District of Michigan has upheld an emergency order that requires COVID-19 testing for migrant or seasonal farm workers.
A complaint was filed Aug. 11 on behalf of farmworkers that challenged an Aug. 3 Michigan Department of Health and Human Services emergency order mandating COVID-19 testing, citing racial discrimination. The court ruled in favor of the MDHHS emergency order, however.
The order, which was announced on Aug. 3, remains in effect. It requires migrant housing camp operators to provide COVID-19 testing as follows:
- One-time baseline testing of all residents ages 18 and over.
- Testing of all new residents with 48 hours of arrival, with separate housing for newly arriving residents for 14 days and a second test 10 to 14 days after arrival.
- Testing of any resident with symptoms or exposure.
Employers of migrant or seasonal workers, meat, poultry and egg processing facilities and greenhouses with over 20 employees on-site at a time to provide COVID-19 testing as follows:
- One-time baseline testing of all workers.
- Testing of all new workers prior to any in-person work.
- Testing of any worker with symptoms or exposure.
The deadline for businesses to comply is Aug. 24. Those seeking assistance with compliance can email [email protected]. Additional information, including a Frequently Asked Question document, is available on the COVID-19 website.
Failure to comply with this order may result in the issuance of a civil monetary penalty under the authority of MCL 333.2262.