Pandemic Puts Farm Workers At Greater Risk

 
The number of H-2A visa workers have increased, but they still make up 9 percent of the U.S. agriculture workforce.

The number of H-2A visa workers have increased, but they still make up 9 percent of the U.S. agriculture workforce.

Esther Honig/Harvest Public Media

The U.S. relies on more than two million seasonal workers to help cultivate and harvest crops. This year, the arrival of many seasonal workers in Illinois has coincided with the COVID-19 pandemic. Many workers lack health insurance, work long hours in difficult conditions and live in communal-style housing that can make them more vulnerable to the coronavirus. 

A report from the National Center for Farmworker Health found that more than 3,000 seasonal workers have tested positive for COVID-19.

The 21st speaks to a health reporter for WILL’s Illinois Newsroom and Side Effects Public Media who's been following the story and two individuals from the Community Health Partnerships of Illinois organization. 

Guests:

Christine Herman, Health Reporter for Illinois Public Media - click here to read her story: Amid COVID-19 Concerns, Clinics Step Up Testing For Migrant Farmworkers

Eleace Sawyers, Chief Executive Officer of the Community Health Partnership of Illinois 

Jina Ramirez, Director of Operations of the Community Health Partnership of Illinois

 

Prepared for web by Zainab Qureshi

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