Tallahassee, Fla. – Today, Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried announced new efforts to provide COVID-19 testing for farmworkers as the fall harvest season begins, in partnership with the University of Florida’s Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS), the Florida Division of Emergency Management (FDEM), and local county governments.
Beginning this week, farmworkers will have access to numerous no-cost COVID-19 testing events in some of Florida’s top agricultural counties. Support for these tests is provided in part by the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, the Florida Division of Emergency Management, and county governments. These testing services will continue as funding, demand, and availability allow.
Commissioner Fried announced the testing partnership’s launch on a call today with Palm Beach County farmers and local officials. Earlier this year, Fried recommended to the Governor that farmworkers be provided with COVID-19 testing to help reduce the virus’ spread among workers and in the community.
“Florida’s farmworkers are essential workers critical to feeding 150 million Americans, but they’re also more susceptible to respiratory illnesses like COVID-19, and often lack health coverage,” said Commissioner Fried. “As the harvest season begins, having access to coronavirus testing will help keep farmworkers, their families, and their communities safe, with a potential next COVID-19 wave coming this fall. We thank UF/IFAS, the Florida Division of Emergency Management, and county governments for their partnership to make this life-saving testing possible.”
What to Know: Testing will be free for employers, farmworkers, and their families. Testing sites will be open for walk-up services and appointments, and mobile testing for groups may be available in certain counties. Individuals will be required to wear face masks and provide a name, date of birth, and phone number. Results will generally be available in 36 hours, and will be shared with the individual tested or someone they designate.
Additional Testing: Additional testing dates for St. Lucie and Hendry Counties are forthcoming, with additional mobile testing sites available in St. Lucie, Hillsborough, and Miami-Dade counties in the coming weeks. Schedules for these services will be announced weekly, based on demand and availability.
Outreach Materials: A printable flyer for the testing program may be downloaded here in English, here in Spanish, and here in Creole. Additional county-specific flyers are available below. A Spanish-language radio PSA will air in the participating counties, and a Spanish-language video is available for social media.
Initial Participating Counties:
Dates: October 6, 7, and 8
Times: 7:00 AM to 8:00 PM
Location: 18905 SW 280th Street, Homestead, FL 33031
Questions: 786-746-7887 or mdc.nomihealth.com/signup
Dates: Wednesdays, Thursdays, Saturdays
Times: 5:00 to 8:00 PM
Location: San Jose Mission, 13524 E. Dr. Martin Luther King Drive, Dover, FL 33527
Questions: 727-309-8682 or 813-300-3777