26 Nov 2021

Farmers urged to complete checklist in case they test positive for Covid

11:10 am on 26 November 2021

After a farming couple tested positive for Covid, farmers are being reminded to fill out a checklist for how to run their farm in case they too get Covid.

Sheep and beef farm in Manawatu

Sheep and beef farm in Manawatu Photo: RNZ/Sally Round

Industry groups have come together to create a Covid-19 readiness checklist to ensure farms can continue to operate, and stock can be properly cared for if someone, or several members of staff, contract the virus and others need to step in and help.

It can be found found on farming group's websites and hard copies are also being distributed around rural supplies stores.

Beef and Lamb senior advisor Will Halliday said the checklist also helps the Ministry of Health decide whether it's safe to allow people to isolate on farm.

"We've already actually had a farming couple isolating at home, they've just been given the all clear so they've returned to work, so the way things are working, it is more likely that farmers will be able to isolate on farm.

"I would like to stress though, if you are fully vaccinated and have a plan to minimize transmission between yourselves and your staff and anybody else coming on to farm, then you are far more likely to be allowed to isolate on farm."

Halliday said the Delta outbreak is something that farmers right around the country should be thinking about.

"We really don't know how it's going to play out at this point but it certainly looks like it's no longer just that thing that's happening in Auckland, right? We know that it's happened to one of ours already and the likelihood is that it's going to march its way down the country."

Horticulture New Zealand has also developed a similar checklist for orchards and packhouses.

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