Below are some COVID-19 best practices and recommendations:
- pdf NCTA Tree Lot COVID 19 Recommendations (146 KB)
- pdf NCTA Choose & Cut COVID 19 Recommendations (552 KB)
- Michigan Agritourism Association’s COVID-19 Resource page. An excellent section to refer to: “Best Practices for Agritourism Operations”
- Michigan Farmers Market has a wealth of COVID-19 resources including templates for employees to develop COVID-19 Standard Operation Procedures
- Here is a link to a Cornell Cooperative Extension document on Best Management Practices for the nursery industry: https://nysipm.cornell.edu/sites/nysipm.cornell.edu/files/shared/documents/BMPs-Ornamental-Operations.pdf
Links and notes from the Farm Bureau Article titled Choose and Cut Preparation in the GLCTJ Fall 20 issue by Craig Anderson:
- Tree operations have 3 additional areas to consider going into this season: 1) Is my operation agricultural or retail; 2) What Executive Orders (EO) and/or Public Health Orders (PHO) apply to my operation; 3) Do I have the proper documentation and posting?
Michigan’s EOs are available at https://www.michigan.gov/whitmer/0,9309,7-387-90499_90705---,00.html . The PHOs are available at https://www.michigan.gov/coronavirus/0,9753,7-406-98178_98455-533660--,00.html .
A Choose and Cut solely allowing drive in customers to purchase a tree from the plantation are within “agriculture.” Operations with a variety of entertainment, non-tree retail sales, food services and other sales centers will likely not be agriculture for many of the emergency order requirements.
All operations having in-person work activities are to have a written response plan under the current EO 2020-161with information at: https://www.osha.gov/Publications/OSHA3990.pdf . The OSHA information is more suitable for commercial operations. Agricultural guidance can be found in the CDC Agriculture Workers and Employers https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/community/guidance-agricultural-workers.html .
For those operations with farm labor housing MDARD has guidance at https://www.michigan.gov/mdard/0,4610,7-125-1569_45168---,00.html to assist in meeting EO 2020-137 Protecting the Food Supply and Migrant and Seasonal Agricultural Workers from the effects of COVID-19 https://www.michigan.gov/whitmer/0,9309,7-387-90499_90705-533220--,00.html in addition to the general safety requirements camp operators/employers must assure all camp occupants over 18 years of age have received baseline Covid-19 testing and new occupants must have a second test as well under PHO - Mandatory Testing, Preventative Measures, and Safe Housing for Agricultural https://www.michigan.gov/documents/coronavirus/2020.08.03_-_MDHHS_Public_Health_Order_-_Agriculture_Testing_vF_698096_7.pdf . As an “agricultural” operation that employees seasonal agricultural employees those seasonal employees must have a baseline test if the operation has more that 20 employees at location.
For “retail” operations employers will need to protect both their employees during their work activities a protect customers from Covid-19 spread. Where in-building sales occur operators should review section 6 of EO 2020-161. For food sales see section 8. Where entertainment is provided and allowed in your region see section 12. All workers are to go through the daily screenings. Cleaning processes for frequently touched surfaces also need to be employed though guidance is not available to cold weather work at this time.
As a public business the Mandatory Mask Order, EO 2020-153 https://www.michigan.gov/whitmer/0,9309,7-387-90499_90705-535105--,00.html , applies to indoor public spaces and also applies to outdoors activities when unable to consistently maintain a distance of six feet or more from individuals who are not members of their household. Waiting lines, trailer rides, warming fires may be covered by this requirement.
Public space operations need to post information related to mask requirements, occupancy levels and specific EO/PHO requirements applied to that location. Postings are available at https://www.michigan.gov/leo/0,5863,7-336-100207---,00.html .
It’s important to have the plan documentation, testing records (if required), daily employee screenings, a determination of necessary personal protective equipment (PPE) or protective devices (masks are required to be provided for indoor workers and some outdoor workers but are not PPE) and some record of employee training related to Covid-19 available for inspection (several agencies have been empowered to enforce the EOs and PHOs), see https://www.michigan.gov/documents/leo/Workplace_Guidelines_Factsheet-Employees_REV_692370_7.pdf .
While these are a summary of the state requirements you should check with your local public health department to determine if any local requirements, in addition to the state requirements, will apply.
Signage for Customers: