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Coronavirus outbreak at Vermont apple orchard sickens dozens of migrant workers

An outbreak of the novel coronavirus at an apple orchard in Vermont has sickened dozens, according to a local report.

The outbreak has been reported among migrant workers at Champlain Orchards, an apple orchard in Shoreham. As of Monday, at least 26 workers had tested positive for COVID-19, said Health Commissioner Mark Levine, the VTDigger reported.

At least one worker has been hospitalized, while the others are largely asymptomatic, according to a local report.

At least one worker has been hospitalized, while the others are largely asymptomatic, according to a local report.
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“The outbreak is contained to the farm, and I want to emphasize, there is no known risk to the public,” he said, noting that those who visited the farm stand or picked apples at the orchard were not considered to be at risk, as the orchard followed state health guidelines and the workers did not come into close contact with any visitors.

The outbreak was reported among workers who had traveled to the state in September from Jamaica under the H-2A visa program, the outlet reported. The first positive case among the workers was reported on Oct. 1, toward the end of the workers’ 14-day quarantine.

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The orchard was subsequently closed and the state health officials were notified. The workers have been tested at least twice following the first positive case.

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At least one worker has been hospitalized, while the others are largely asymptomatic, according to the VTDigger.

“I have seen various facilities, businesses, travelers ethnic groups, and other groups face stigma over the course of this pandemic, and I call on Vermonters again to focus on the disease, and how to keep it at bay where we can, rather than creating fear or rumors,” Levine said when urging residents against stigmatizing those who have tested positive, per the VTDigger.

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Vermont battling Covid-19 at an apple orchard among migrant workers

Vermont is battling a Covid-19 outbreak among migrant workers at an apple orchard, state officials announced Monday.



a sign on the side of the street: 16528985: Vermont Orchards Covid Outbreak


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16528985: Vermont Orchards Covid Outbreak

Champlain Orchards in Addison County had 27 workers test positive over the weekend, Vermont Health Commissioner Dr. Mark Levine said on Tuesday. The commissioner had previously announced 26 cases, with one more test result being reported after the initial announcement.

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The first positive case was discovered last week. It came toward the end of the migrant workers’ quarantine period after arriving in the state in mid-September, and the person is believed to have become ill outside of Vermont, according to Dr. Levine.

State officials said that the orchard owner was complying with guidance and that apples were disinfected before being sold. The apples are sold in Vermont, parts of Massachusetts and in upstate New York and New Jersey, according to the orchard’s website.

As the coronavirus is a respiratory virus, the CDC has said that there is “no evidence to support transmission of COVID-19 associated with food.”

“The orchard owners and state agencies are working to make sure these workers have what they need — food, shelter and other things to isolate safely,” Vermont Gov. Phil Scott said in a news conference.

“In light of recent national events, I hardly need to remind Vermonters of the nature of the virus. People do not get sick because they are from a certain place, ethnicity or nationality — they get sick if they are exposed to the virus.”

Vermont has had the fewest Covid-19 cases of any state, with only 1,821 cases, according to Johns Hopkins University. The state saw no Covid-related deaths or ICU admissions in September, according to state Department of Financial Regulation Commissioner Michael Pieciak.

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