New York greenhouse emerges as new coronavirus hotspot
A Central New York greenhouse that grows and packages produce sold at retailers including Walmart has become a coronavirus hotbed, with more than a third of workers there infected, officials said Wednesday.
Governor Andrew Cuomo at his daily briefing likened the spread of Covid-19 at Green Empire Farms in Oneida to the outbreaks at meat-packaging plants across the country, according to the New York Post.
“It is about worker density and large gatherings. That’s the caution flag here,” said Cuomo.
At least 139 workers at the facility, which employs 300, have tested positive for the virus, including two who have been hospitalized, according to Madison County health director Eric Faisst. All infected workers are in isolation, and another round of testing is underway, he said.
Officials are investigating the outbreak and anyone found to have had contact with any of the sick workers is being alerted.
The food supply coming from the greenhouse is safe to eat, Faisst added. The facility sells produce to grocery stores under the Sunset and Backyard Farms brands.
The farm has been working with Madison County since March on implementing safe working conditions amid the outbreak, and employees were practicing social distancing and given masks, Faisst said.