The Ontario government is distributing up to 5,500 free HEPA filters to improve ventilation in agri-food congregate living settings, a Feb. 3 news release says.
“These HEPA filters will provide farmers with another tool to use to help in the fight against COVID-19, all while ensuring agri-food workers have a safe environment to work and live in,” Lisa Thompson, provincial minister of agriculture, food and rural affairs, says in the release.
The release notes HEPA filter units, along with other prevention and control strategies, control and remove harmful airborne pathogens and improve air quality. Farms and agri-food businesses who employ and provide housing to international agri-food workers are eligible for one free HEPA filter unit per employer-provided congregate living setting.
“Access to these HEPA air filters will help to support local food production and ensure that fresh vegetables are on grocery store shelves and our tables,” George Gilvesy, chair of the Ontario Greenhouse Vegetable Growers, says in the release.
The units will be deployed in partnership with the Ministry of Government and Consumer Services at no cost to employers through the voluntary Registry of Employers International Agri-food Workers.