WINDSOR, ONT. -- The Windsor-Essex County Health Unit has issued a class order for all owners or operators of agricultural farms in the region.

On Tuesday, the health unit reported four new local cases of COVID-19, two were attributed to the community and two to local farms. Monday’s update from the health unit reported 36 new cases, including 33 at local farms.

Windsor-Essex medical officer of health Dr. Wajid Ahmed issued a class order Tuesday, under section 22 (5.01) of the Health Promotion and Protection Act, effective 12:01 a.m., Wednesday.

WECHU says it is working with farms in the region to provide instruction and education on best practices to mitigate the spread of COVID-19.

The order applies to all owners and operators of agricultural farms in Windsor and Essex County who employ migrant farm workers, participate in the federal Temporary Foreign worker program or operate any type of seasonal housing.

The WECHU says it has identified local agricultural farms as "high-risk settings for the spread of COVID-19" based on available data.

The class order identifies measures deemed necessary to help prevent the risks associated with COVID-19 including:

  • All employees, including contract employees, work exclusively at one workplace.
  • Individuals employed at more than one facility must immediately limit to one premise.
  • Ensure accurate and updated contact information for all employees and make this information available to the Windsor-Essex County Health Unit within 24 hours of a request in support of case management and contact tracing requirements.
  • Adhere to all directions provided by Windsor-Essex Health Unit including self-isolation orders issued to employees, active screening, physical distancing in the workplace and supporting disease investigation.

The Health Unit says failure to comply with the order can result in fines of up to $5,000 for every day or part of each day that the offence occurs.