In an E-gro (Electronic Grower Resources Online) alert, the growers' clearing house collaborative provides detailed instructions on how greenhouse growers and others can keep themselves, their employees and their crops safe during the COVID-19 crisis. The resource includes a list of EPA-approved disinfectants and proper techniques for applying surface sanitizers; access the full newsletter here.
Per a press release, the MSU Extension has created a suite of online resources and programming, available on demand through its new Remote Learning and Resources online space. For traditional in-person programming affected by social distancing recommendations, MSU Extension is modifying and transitioning this programming to a digital space.
“Our educational teams are quickly ramping up their ability to offer virtual programming so we can continue to ensure individuals, families, farmers, business owners and communities get the information they need when they need it,” said Jeff Dwyer, director of MSU Extension, per the release.
The Remote Learning and Resources online space is a one-stop-shop for MSU Extension’s digital offerings and educational materials related to the current circumstances. Among the resources featured on the site are:
- A listing of all MSU Extension virtual events — from family yoga sessions to lunch-and-learns for equine enthusiasts
- A collection of free educational resources for parents and caregivers to keep children engaged in learning throughout the school break
- Online learning opportunities for adults who may want to continue their own lifelong learning
- A series of resources to help individuals stay healthy and active during social distancing
- A variety of educational articles related to topics such as dealing with family stress, talking to children about novel coronavirus and managing finances
As the response to the novel coronavirus pandemic evolves, MSU Extension will continue to add and curate digital resources to support individuals, businesses, communities and families in these challenging times.
FloraLife, a division of Smithers-Oasis Company, is offering its FloraLife D.C.D. and FloraLife MicroBLOC disinfectants that meet EPA criteria for use against SARS-CoV-2, the novel coronavirus.
The antimicrobial cleaners can be used for general use across a wide range of industries and applications. The line of cleaners can be purchased in North America at FloraLifeCleaners.com.
“No matter what the industry — food processing, transportation, industrial, schools, retail, travel or healthcare — our EPA-registered cleaning products, along with proper cleaning protocols, can be safely used to stop the spread of the novel coronavirus,” said Jim Daly, vice president, FloraLife/Grower Global Operations and Corporate Research, FloraLife. “When compared to bleach, our FloraLife Cleaner Products have the added advantage of providing residual protection in cases where the cleaner can remain on the surface without rinsing.”
FloraLifeD.C.D. and FloraLife MicroBLOC kill and prevent bacterial, microbial growth and viruses on hard, nonporous surfaces. In areas where there is no contact with food, the cleaners can be sprayed or wiped onto the surface that needs to be disinfected and air dried. For areas in contact with food, surfaces can instead be rinsed after application. To determine which surfaces need to be rinsed off, users should follow label instructions. Instructions also apply to animal contact surfaces.
FloraLife D.C.D. cleaner and disinfectant is available in a 32-ounce and 1-gallon ready-to-use spray bottle, and 16-ounce, 1-, 2.5-, 5- and 30-gallon containers of liquid concentrate. FloraLife MicroBLOC cleaner productscleaner is available in a 32-ounce ready-to-use spray bottle, and 1-, 5- and 30-gallon containers of liquid concentrate.
When compared to bleach, FloraLife cleaner products create a longer lasting, protective layer that keeps on working. The FloraLife cleaner products also have a pleasant or neutral scent, in comparison to bleach, which has an overpowering odor.
In order to lower the risk of spreading infections from SARS-CoV-2, FloraLife cleaner products should be used on hard surfaces that are touched often or by more than one person including food processing surfaces, desktops, delivery vehicles, countertops and tabletops, restrooms and bathroom surfaces, waiting areas, shelves, benches, warehouse floors and walls, packing areas, airports, hospitals and doctors’ offices, schools, ceilings, doors, handles, chairs and more.
For questions or additional information on FloraLife Cleaner Products, contact Global Product Manager, Mark Allen at email@example.com or a local FloraLife representative.
Per a press release, AeroFarms has been recognized in Fast Company's World Changing Ideas package for the third year in a row. The company placed in four categories: General Excellence, AI & Data, food and space and places and cities. AeroFarms was a finalist in both the General Excellence and AI & Data and a honorable mention in the food and spaces and places and cities categories.
AeroFarms' announcement read as follows:
"Our mission is to grow the best plants possible for the betterment of humanity, and we are honored to be recognized among a group of trailblazing companies working to change the world. At AeroFarms, we have developed our own patented indoor vertical farming technology to completely transform the way fresh, safe, healthy, and tasty food is grown at scale. We are not just a farm–we are a group of full-stack, world-class experts where horticulture intersects with engineering, food safety, data science, and nutrition, giving us the unique capability to understand plant biology in an unprecedented way.
In addition to being recognized for our innovative use of AI & Data to grow our plants, we are proud to be recognized for our commitment to revitalizing Spaces, Places & Cities, and bringing green jobs and fresh food to cities. Each of our farms has a unique story breathing new life into abandoned buildings. One of our commercial farms and corporate HQ is built on the site of a former abandoned steel mill in an industrial section of Newark, NJ.
And it doesn’t stop there — we are working with top tastemakers and chefs like David Chang, and leading researchers at Cornell and Rutgers and the Foundation for Food and Agriculture Research on cutting-edge science to create the next generation of Food that has greatest nutrient-density and flavor around…and the results have been absolutely delicious."
As the number of COVID-19 cases rises each day, more and more business owners are finding out an employee has tested positive for the new coronavirus. Don’t let this possibility catch you flat-footed and wondering what to do.
Jonathan Theders, CEO of RiskSOURCE Clark-Theders, a Cincinnati-based agency that serves 4,000 customers nationwide, said it’s the employer’s responsibility to respond swiftly to a positive test. The company’s response should have two goals: protect the health of its employees while preserving the anonymity of the affected employee.
Here are a few steps to take if you find out an employee has COVID-19.
First, don’t freak out. When an employee notifies you that he or she is sick with COVID-19, respond calmly and empathetically. It can be easy to overreact, but you need to ensure that the infected employee is treated with compassion.
Reassure the employee that their identity will remain confidential. Be sure to help them coordinate taking leave or paid time off until they’ve recovered. When in doubt over how to handle that, defer to your company policy.
"The employer has the challenge of how they are going to address that from a compensation standpoint," Theders said. "Time off, sick leave, none: I’ll oftentimes go to whatever’s in their handbook."
Next, you need to ask the employee who they have been in contact with over the last two weeks. Obtaining this information is essential so that you can directly notify customers and other employees that they may have been directly exposed to COVID-19.
Notifying employees and customers
Without disclosing the identity of the infected employee, you need to notify their co-workers, customers and the rest of the company.
Theders said that it is important to respect the privacy of the employee throughout this situation.
"You’re not saying 'John has coronavirus!'" he said. "Will people figure it out when John isn’t at work? Probably. But that is not something you broadcast."
He also advises connecting with a labor attorney or HR risk consultant, who can dictate any particulars specific to your state or jurisdiction.
When notifying co-workers or customers, be sure to remain calm. Let them know that someone they have been in contact with or has been in their physical work area has tested positive for COVID-19.
"Because of their right to privacy you don’t say the person’s name, but you’d say ‘we have an employee who developed coronavirus, we have been told that you have had interaction with them, we’re going to ask you to self-quarantine for 14 days,'" Theders said.
Along with recommending self-quarantine, ask them to monitor themselves for the symptoms of COVID-19. If feasible, allow eligible employees to work from home during this time.
Be sure to notify the rest of the company by email or letter that an employee has tested positive for COVID-19, even if they haven’t had any interaction with the affected individual. Remember to keep the employee’s identity protected and be transparent about your response. The communication should include what steps your company will be taking to protect the health of other employees. If you plan on having employees work from home for the next 14 days or closing the office, this information should be disclosed in the communication.
A clean environment
After notifying the rest of the company and your customers about the positive test, you must ensure a safe work environment for your other employees.
According to the Centers for Disease Control, COVID-19 can stay on hard surfaces for up to 12 hours. This creates a risk of transmission. You may want to consider closing the office for a few days after the positive test was discovered until a thorough cleaning can take place. All surfaces that the infected employee may have touched should be disinfected, including commonly touched
surfaces, like countertops, cabinets, doorknobs, handles and chairs.
When you do open your office again, make sure you’re giving employees the tools they need to feel safe at work.
Provide hand sanitizer. Encourage hygiene however you can. Wipe down surfaces multiple times. Take worker temperatures before and after shifts.
"Have a guideline in place," Theders said. "If your temperature is 99 degrees or greater, you have to go home."
Also, don’t permit people with fevers or coughs to come to work. Be strict; no exceptions.
"Tell your employees, 'these are the symptoms. If you have any of these we need you to stay home.'"
For more: www.risksource.com