Strict protocols designed to limit the risk of community outbreaks of COVID-19 linked to migrant workers have largely succeeded in BC.
But this week, the Interior Health Authority restricted access to a Krazy Cherry Fruit Co. in Oliver after two workers tested positive for COVID-19 in an outbreak linked to cases in Kelowna.
A bulletin from Interior Health noted that 36 seasonal workers at the farm had undergone quarantine and tested negative prior to beginning work at the farm. However, a staff member living in the community had recently travelled to Kelowna. “The cause of illness in the two positive cases has not been determined, but both individuals are presumed to have acquired it in BC,” the initial public advisory stated, adding that the risk to the general public is considered low.
The farm will remain under a public health order pending completion of the investigation. Both infected individuals are in self-isolation, and the farm’s 36 foreign workers and nine other individuals are barred from leaving the farm.
Krazy Cherry chief operating officer Harman Bahniwal said the farm is working closely with Interior Health to address the situation.
“We are taking every precaution to mitigate any risk to our employees, their families and the public,” he said.
Interior Health reminds everyone, including those working on or visiting farms, to continue following all public health recommendations to prevent the spread of COVID-19.