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Summer 2021 COVID-19 guidance for farms

Annalisa Hultberg, Extension Educator, food safety

During the COVID-19 pandemic, farms (along with all other businesses) have been required to follow guidance issued from the state to protect their employees and customers from the spread of COVID-19. As vaccination rates increase and infection rates decrease, restrictions are lifting. What are the current COVID-19 - related restrictions that apply to farms? Read more to learn the most current guidance. 

Current COVID guidance 

However, businesses may opt to implement policies to address the afore-mentioned (recommended to protect people in the business who are not fully vaccinated).

Cleaning and Sanitizing

Research has been clear over the past year that COVID-19 is not primarily spread through surfaces, but rather through particles in the air. However, basic sanitation is still a good practice, and will reduce the spread of foodborne illness on the farm or at the farmers' market.  Keep surfaces generally clean, and sanitized regularly. 

Establish a regular schedule and checklist for cleaning and disinfecting commonly touched surfaces (tools, doorknobs, etc.), shared items, shared equipment, and high traffic areas. Continue to perform other routine cleaning according to established schedules and procedures. Basically don't stop basic cleaning of food contact and high-touch surfaces, as it is still good for reduction in foodborne illnesses!


There is no longer a statewide requirement to wear face coverings in most settings. However, other federal, state, and/or local laws may require face coverings in some settings, and businesses may set their own requirements. 

Hand Hygiene

Handwashing continues to be very important in food production settings, including farms. COVID-19 is not fully over, and other illnesses can still spread easily through contaminated hands.  Provide instruction, signage, facilities, and supplies to encourage regular handwashing and sanitizing. See Hand Hygiene.

Close Contacts and Quarantine

Create a system for identifying and communicating with workers who may have been a close contact or exposed to someone who has COVID-19 or COVID-19 symptoms. Ensure that workers who were exposed or identified as close contacts stay away from work for the applicable quarantine period and encourage them to be tested.  Learn more about how to quarantine employees here.  

Don't work when sick

Require workers to stay away from work when they are sick or test positive for COVID-19.

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