6/26/20: Minnesota Dairy Initiative COVID-19 Preparedness Plan
In accordance with Executive Orders issued by Governor Tim Walz under the Peacetime Emergency, the Minnesota Dairy Initiative’s (MDI) COVID-19 Preparedness Plan establishes and explains the policies, practices and conditions MDI will implement to meet the industry guidance that are based on Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) guidelines, federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) standards and applicable executive orders related to safety and health in their workplaces.
Minnesota Dairy Initiative is committed to providing a safe and healthy environment for all coordinators and clients. To ensure we have a safe and healthy environment, the Minnesota Dairy Initiative has developed the following COVID-19 Preparedness Plan in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. This plan applies to MDI coordinators, contractors, and volunteers including MDI region boards, farm teams, networking groups, and MDI State Board of Directors. Our goal is to mitigate the potential for transmission of COVID-19 in our environment and communities, and that requires full cooperation among our coordinators, volunteers, and teams. Only through this cooperative effort can we establish and maintain the safety and health of all persons.
This plan was prepared with input from the MDI State Board of Directors, MDI Executive Committee, and State Director. This plan has been communicated with all coordinators and regional boards. Additional communication and training will be conducted as needed to ensure the safety and health of coordinators, teams, volunteers, and board members across the state of Minnesota.
The COVID-19 Preparedness Plan is administered by the MDI State Board of Directors who maintains the overall authority and responsibility for the plan. However, coordinators, regional boards, team volunteers, and non-MDI team members are equally responsible for supporting, implementing, complying with, and providing recommendations to further improve all aspects of this COVID-19 Preparedness Plan. Minnesota Dairy Initiative’s State Board of Directors have our full support in enforcing the provisions of this plan.
Minnesota Dairy Initiative’s COVID-19 Preparedness Plan follows the industry guidance developed by the state of Minnesota, which is based upon Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) guidelines for COVID-19, Minnesota Occupational Safety and Health Administration (MNOSHA) statutes, rules and standards, and Minnesota’s relevant and current executive orders.
- Allowable Activities
- MDI coordinators, contractors, volunteers, board members, networking groups, and regions may sponsor and/or organize an activity such as farm meetings, educational events, professional development trainings, board meetings, or gatherings as long as no more than 25 people can convene in an outdoor environment. Outdoors includes areas that are outside and not enclosed. Individuals will be situated six feet apart.
- MDI coordinators, contractors, volunteers, board members, networking groups, and regions may sponsor and/or organize an activity such as farm meetings, educational events, professional development trainings, board meetings, or gatherings as long as no more than 10 people can convene in an indoor environment. Indoor environments include meeting spaces, restaurants, barns, machinery sheds, house/home, or other outbuildings. Individuals will be situated six feet apart.
- Face masks can be worn but are not required for a farmer, coordinator, team member, volunteer, or board member to wear to an in-person meeting.
- Individuals will be discouraged from sharing food. Pre-packaged food and beverages will be used in place of homemade options if an event or meeting requires food.
- Ensuring sick persons stay home
- Persons should self-monitor for symptoms such as fever, cough, or shortness of breath. If they develop symptoms, they should notify the MDI coordinator and stay home.
- If a farmer, coordinator, team member, volunteer, or board member is feeling ill, individuals will not attend meetings and stay home.
- If a farmer, coordinator, team member, volunteer, or board member is residing with someone that is ill, individuals will not attend meetings and stay home.
- Coordinators must ask if the farmer, team members, volunteers, and board members have been sick or have been experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 within the 2 weeks prior to the scheduled meeting date. If individuals have been experiencing symptoms, they will stay home and not attend the meeting.
- Meetings can be held without the sick person or rescheduled once their symptoms have improved (this can take up to 14 days) AND at least 10 days have passed since symptoms first appeared AND at least three days have passed since fever has gone (without use of fever reducing medications).
- It is encouraged that meetings be held electronically/online if possible. Coordinators are to ask farmers, team members, volunteers, and board members if they are comfortable meeting in-person. If individuals are not comfortable or are experiencing COVID-19 symptoms, an electronic conferencing service should be used.
- MDI employees and contractors who are considered vulnerable or at high risk of COVID-19 contraction or who live with high risk individuals are highly encouraged to hold and attend events and meetings electronically.
- The MN Department of Health informs individuals if they have tested positive for COVID-19 that they will follow up with others who may have been exposed to the person with COVID-19.
- Social Distancing
- MDI coordinators, team members, volunteers, contractors, and board members will practice social distancing by keeping space between themselves and others by six feet.
- Six-foot spacing between individuals will be practiced at team meetings, board meetings, and events.
- MDI coordinator office spaces are in their homes or at local U of MN Extension offices. The offices located at U of MN Extension offices will abide by the guidelines in place set by U of MN Extension and in accordance to MDH, MNOSHA, and CDC.
- Cleaning and Disinfection Protocols
- Frequently clean and disinfect all high-touch items, such as doorknobs, countertops, barriers, railings, handles, and other surfaces.
- Frequently clean and disinfect all areas, such as offices, restrooms, common areas, shared electronic equipment, machinery, tools, controls, etc.
- Handwashing and Respiratory Etiquette
- Coordinators should use hand sanitizer before and after meetings. In addition, coordinators can bring hand sanitizer and have it available for others to use at the team meetings.
- Individuals should practice coughing/sneezing into their arm or a tissue and wash hands afterwards.
- Frequently wash hands. Individuals will wash hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not readily available, use a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol.
- Individuals should avoid touching their eyes, nose, mouth.
- Communication and Training
- At events such as workshops or peer groups hosted by MDI, notices of social distancing, handwashing, and respiratory etiquette will be posted.
- Coordinators will communicate guidelines with volunteers, farmers, board members to ensure observance. Documentation for meetings can be logged with provided checklist.
- The State Director will be responsible with providing training and communication to MDI coordinators regarding the COVID-19 Preparedness Plan and updates to guidelines to ensure safety and health for individuals.
This COVID-19 Preparedness Plan has been reviewed by the MDI State Board of Directors on June 26, 2020. It will be updated as necessary.
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