Coronavirus outbreak resources for Ag professionals in Delaware

COVID-19 vaccine update

The State of Delaware is offering multiple options for people to receive the COVID-19 vaccine. Currently, health care personnel and long-term care residents/staff under Phase 1A, as well as individuals 65 and older and frontline essential workers under Phase 1B are eligible to receive the vaccine.

Frontline essential workers are eligible to receive the vaccine through their employer, and should look for further information directly from them. Frontline essential workers eligible under Phase 1B include: fire, police, correctional officers, teachers and education staff (including child care providers), U.S. postal workers, food manufacturing, agriculture, transportation, and grocery store workers.

More than 200,000 Delawareans qualify for vaccination in this phase, and multiple options for residents to be vaccinated will begin this week and then expand in coming weeks, including large vaccination events with a new appointment request system.

As one of many options in coming weeks, DPH, county EMS agencies, the Delaware Medical Reserve Corps, and hospital partners including Beebe Healthcare, have scheduled five drive-through vaccination events for persons 65 and older, as well as for remaining Phase 1A personnel, on Friday, January 22 at the Delaware City Division of Motor Vehicles and on Saturday and Sunday, January 23 and 24, at both the Delaware City and Georgetown DMV locations.

These drive-through clinics are appointment-only events strictly for individuals 65 and older in the 1A and 1B categories (including Delaware Farm Bureau farmer members). As soon as we receive more information, we will alert our members.

Facts at a Glance:

  • Vaccines are free.
  • Appointment-only.
  • Please dress in appropriate clothing so that your upper arm can be exposed, including not getting out of the vehicle at a drive through-event to remove a coat or shirt.
  • If someone has received a flu, shingles or other vaccination recently, they cannot receive a COVID-19 vaccination within 14 days of the prior vaccination.
  • Large vaccine events are typically held in locations without bathroom access, so please plan accordingly.
  • Delawareans age 65 and older who request an appointment but do not immediately receive an invitation email will continue to be on the waiting list to receive an invitation for future vaccination events.
  • Any individuals who arrive without an appointment for these events should not expect to be vaccinated.
  • Frontline essential workers should look for information about vaccination opportunities directly from their employer.

To register for an appointment:

  • Visit de.gov/coronavirus
  • Click: Find where to get vaccinated
  • Scroll down and click the round button that says: Vaccination events.
  • Click: 65+ Request appointment here.
  • Fill in your details.
    NOTE: IF you are not 65 years of age or older, the system will not allow you to proceed with making an appointment at this time.

Individuals with general questions about coronavirus can call 2-1-1 or for people who are deaf or hard of hearing, please text your ZIP code to 898-211. For those with specific health-related questions, email us at DPHCall@delaware.gov. Contact your primary health care provider if you have concerns about symptoms, particularly those with fever and coughing or shortness of breath. Talk with your primary health care provider about getting vaccinated.

* Dealing with grief or other feelings of loss? Check out 3 ways to cope with ambiguous losses from the pandemic offered by the University of Maryland.* 

* Click here for information on Navigating COVID-19 Relief for Farmers.* 

For up-to-date information on the Coronavirus outbreak in Delaware, 
visit the state of Delaware’s Website.*

From the American Farm Bureau Federation President Zippy Duvall: Impact of COVID-19 on agriculture (read more) “Things are far from business as usual in cities and towns across America this week. Millions of us are being called to serve our neighbors by staying home. There is a lot beyond our control and still unknown as we face this crisis, but we can focus on and be faithful with the tasks at hand. For farmers and ranchers our calling hasn’t changed, though its importance hits closer to home in times like these: we are committed to rising every day to grow and harvest the food we all depend on.”

USDA offers additional assistance for certain producers through Coronavirus Food Assistance Program

 U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue announced the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) will provide additional assistance through the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program (CFAP), expanding eligibility for some agricultural producers and commodities as well as updating payments to accurately compensate some producers who already applied for the program. Producers who are now eligible and those who need to modify existing applications due to these updates can contact USDA’s Farm Service Agency (FSA) between Jan. 19 and Feb. 26. Some of these changes are being made to align with the recently enacted Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2021 while others are discretionary changes being made in response to ongoing evaluation of CFAP.

CFAP 2 details for Delaware Farmers and Ranchers from DEFB Executive Director Joseph Poppiti 

The U.S. Department of Agriculture is providing additional direct assistance to farmers and ranchers impacted by COVID-19. The additional Coronavirus Food Assistance Program, known as CFAP-2 began September 21, 2020 and applications will continue to be accepted through December 11, 2020. The USDA is using funds made available for the Commodity Credit Corporation (CCC) Charter Act and CARES ACT to support row crops, livestock, specialty crops, dairy, aquaculture and many additional commodities up to 14 billion dollars.
Farmworker housing 
In many parts of the country, peak season for many labor-intensive commodities is quickly approaching. The Guidance on the Essential Critical Infrastructure Workforce: Ensuring Community and National Resilience in COVID-19 designates farm work as essential critical infrastructure. Although not required by law for domestic farm and fishery workers, often workers are provided housing by their employers. Moreover, the H-2A visa program requires that an employer provide housing to an H-2A worker and corresponding domestic non-H-2A workers who cannot reasonably return to their residence at the end of the workday. Typically, farmworker housing is communal, which could provide an increased risk for the spread of COVID-19. The federal government is engaging key stakeholders and gathering potential resources that may provide alternative options for farmers and migrant workers to protect worker safety and maintain critical working infrastructure. Employers should ensure that any options considered meet required regulatory housing standards.
For more information, review Potential Resources for Seasonal Agriculture Laborers June 2020.
To view the CDC’s guidance regarding agriculture workers and employees, click here.
H-2A information: https://www.farmers.gov/manage/h2a
The USDA is committed to providing services to America’s farmers and ranchers while taking safety measures in response to the COVID-19, or new coronavirus, outbreak. Resources related to COVID-19 and the H-2A Visa Program can be found on the USDA Website. Stakeholder comments can be sent via email to AgLabor@usda.gov. ARTICLE: Expanded interview waivers for H-2A program is welcome news

Service Centers

Producers can find their Service Center’s phone number at farmers.gov/service-center-locator and more information about Coronavirus and USDA Service Centers at https://www.farmers.gov/coronavirus.
Stay healthy on the farm during the COVID-19 crisis with the help of these links from Cornell University and the Farm Employers Labor Service
Coronavirus Prevention on Farms: https://agworkforce.cals.cornell.edu/2020/03/12/novel-coronavirus-prevention-control-for-farms/
COVID-19 and Your Dairy Webinar: 
https://agworkforce.cals.cornell.edu/2020/03/23/covid-19-and-your-dairy-webinar/

Additional information from Farm Employers Labor Service

Loan updates: Paycheck protection loans available to farmers regardless of revenue

Applications can begin on April 3 for small business and sole proprietorships and April 10 for independent contractors and self-employed. Agriculture enterprises that employ 500 or less people whose principal place of residence is in the United States are eligible, regardless of revenue levels. Both loans are through Small Business Association (SBA) lenders.
For more information or to apply now, visit: https://www.fb.org/market-intel/update-ag-and-pppl
Delaware Farm Bureau 3457 S. DuPont Highway Camden, DE 19934