State of Michigan

08/09/2020 | Press release | Distributed by Public on 08/09/2020 17:03

MDHHS Director Robert Gordon Issues Statement on Order Requiring Testing of Farm and Food Processing Employees

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Aug. 7, 2020

CONTACT: Bob Wheaton, 517-241-2112

Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) Director Robert Gordon is issuing the following statement regarding Michigan Farm Bureau opposition to the department's order requiring testing of farm and food processing employees:

'Amid a pandemic that has killed more than 6,000 Michiganders, the State of Michigan took action to save lives by requiring COVID-19 testing and support for farm and food processing employees. These employees live and work in close conditions that put them at particular risk for COVID-19, and have experienced dozens of outbreaks as a result. The state is offering on-site testing at no cost to all workers covered by the order, as well as support for housing and basic needs of workers. It is unfortunate that the Michigan Farm Bureau is opposing these efforts to keep agricultural employees safe, and that some in the industry have even advised employers to cancel planned testing events, choosing instead to contemplate litigating workers' protections.

We are confident in the legality of our order. It is not too late for the Farm Bureau to partner with the State of Michigan to support hard-working men and women, rather than promoting dangerous delays in much-needed COVID-19 testing.'

More information about testing for these workers can be found on the Michigan coronavirus website.

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