2 test positive for COVID-19 in connection with B.C. Okanagan fruit farm
A migrant worker and another person linked to Krazy Cherry Fruit Company in Oliver are in isolation.
- Oliver, B.C.
Two migrant workers have tested positive in an Oliver fruit farm. Interior Health has confirmed that a migrant farm worker and another person connected to Oliver's Krazy Cherry Fruit Company have tested positive for COVID-19.
One worker was a foreign worker and is currently isolating outside of the farm. The second worker is in isolation at home, and the B.C. health authority says the risk to the general public is low. So far in Oliver, isolation orders has been issued for 36 migrant workers and nine other people associated with the farm. All of those affected are prevented from leaving the farm while an investigation is underway. For now the only access to the farm is for deliveries of essential items only.
CBC News of Vancouver asked Susan Brown, President and CEO of Interior Health about the two infected individuals, They said the health authority was on site to "ensure people get the care they require."
The source of the infections has not been determined yet, however both patients are believed to have contracted the disease in British Columbia according to CBC Vancouver. The temporary foreign worker went through the mandatory 14-day isolation period and was then tested again testing negative before beginning work on the farm, according to Interior Health.
Raul Gatica, is the assistant to the director of Dignidad Migrante Society, which advocates for migrant farm workers similar to Dolores Huerta's activism in California, the Latino Civic Alliance out of Washington State has raised concerns about how the positive case was handled and whether other workers have been exposed.
Garcia said that dozens of workers at the Krazy Cherry Fruit Company may have been at risk of transmission because of close living and working conditions. The company operates a packing plant in Oliver and fields in Oliver, Kelowna and Vernon all located less than 20-35 minutes from the Washington/B.C. border.
CBC news has reached out for comment. Gatica says a COVID-19 test was taken by the worker on July 9 and that he was put into isolation the night of July 11. He says the man works in the company's Kelowna field and Oliver packing plant and is currently isolating at an area motel.
By CBC News Vancouver Canada / MLWA 7 News U.S.