Windsor mayor asks farmers to test workers and stop COVID-19 spread

Migrant Worker by David Shankbone, New York City

TORONTO — The mayor of Windsor, Ont., is calling on farmers in the surrounding area to have all of their workers tested for COVID-19.

Drew Dilkens says the high rates of the virus on farms in Essex County has held back the entire region from reopening.

He says if farmers take the lead on testing, they can help the region “assess and contain” the spread of the virus and reopen the local economy.

Premier Doug Ford announced Monday that Windsor-Essex would not yet proceed to Stage 2 of reopening because of the farm outbreaks.

Ford warned farmers if they did not co-operate with the province’s plan to test workers he would take “extreme” action, though he gave no specifics.

Hundreds of migrant workers in the region have tested positive for the virus and three have died.