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Home Grown: Frequent COVID testing important for farmers

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Virus is particularly bad for the Ag industry - CBS 13's April Hettinger explains

YUMA, Ariz. (KYMA, KECY) - Day laborers responsible for the nation's food source work in close quarters, so testing and preventative measures are crucial to keeping them safe.

Farmworkers do a lot of traveling back and forth between Yuma County, Mexico and Salinas, California.

Social distancing can be difficult to do on a bus and in tight housing, which is why frequent testing is important.

Walt Duflock, Vice President Of Innovation for Western Growers says once they figure out who has contracted the virus, that farmer will be isolated and cared for.

"The farm labor contractors and the farmers, they work together to get folks tested because they are," Duflock explained. "They're on buses together a lot and H2A housing a lot, so there's frequent tests, and when there is a positive result, they work with the workers to make sure that worker gets isolated, gets taken care of as quickly as possible. It's a team effort."

The ag industry is already short staffed, so when a farmworker takes time to quarantine, it can make it difficult to keep up with the growing a harvesting process.

Local News / News / Top Stories / Yuma County / Yuma County Coronavirus
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April Hettinger

April was born and raised in San Diego where she loved the beach town and her two dogs, Lexi and Malibu. She decided to trade the beach for the snow and advanced her education at Northern Arizona University in Flagstaff. After a short 3 ½ years, she earned bachelor’s degree in Communication Studies with minors in Journalism and Spanish but gained memories and friendships she will always remember.

She began her broadcast journalism career through NAZ Today, northern Arizona’s local news station, by covering breaking news, building relationships with the community, learning to produce a newscast and anchoring live. Although she will miss her snowy mountain town, she is excited to further her broadcast career and take on the heat in a great city like Yuma.

She is looking forward to floating down at the Colorado River, riding dirt bikes at the sand dunes, and most importantly, serving the community through local news.

You can send any story ideas her way by emailing april.hettinger@kecytv.com.

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