Ontario deploys emergency management team to Windsor-Essex due to agri-farm COVID-19 outbreak


Ontario Premier Doug Ford has confirmed that the province’s emergency management team has been deployed to Windsor-Essex. 

“It’s all hands on deck,” he said, during a daily COVID-19 briefing on Friday. “I want to try to help them, I feel terrible for the situation they’re in.”

The province’s emergency management team is working with members of the Canadian Red Cross, as well as Public Health Ontario, to address growing concerns about COVID-19 cases among agri-farm workers in the region. 

Over the weekend, a single Essex County greenhouse — Nature Fresh Farms in Leamington, Ont. — saw almost 200 workers test positive for COVID-19.

Speaking at the same Friday briefing, Ontario’s chief coroner Dr. Dirk Huyer explained that the emergency management team is “providing support for the workers from one farm, where there was the notable number of positive COVID-19 findings, as well as those who may have been in contact with those positive workers.”

Huyer added that the team is helping coordinate care, accommodations, as well as food for workers at the facility. 

Dr. Wajid Ahmed, medical officer of health for Windsor-Essex, was asked earlier Friday morning if the province’s emergency management team was on the ground here. He wouldn’t confirm its presence.

“We have been in conversation with the Ministry of Health Operations Centre regulars to help us,” he said. “There are a number of parties involved in that conversation. I cannot say if they are here or not. 

More to come. 

Read more at CBC.ca