Agricultural workers in MA still don’t have access to COVID-19 testing

Boston Statehouse

BOSTON (WWLP) – Massachusetts residents that live and work in rural communities have very little access to COVID-19 testing sites.

A big concern for western Massachusetts lawmakers is protecting the farmers and agricultural workers in their districts. But right now, they say the state isn’t providing the resources they need to do that.

In a letter to Lt. Governor Karyn Polito, lawmakers listed their concerns for food production workers in the state, who they say have gone unprotected for most of the pandemic.

To fix that, they want testing sites, where agricultural workers can get tested regularly, including in the evenings and on the weekends.  

“We really need the testing for our agricultural workers and farmers and so we will always be pushing hard, pushing the limits to make sure that our communities are getting everything that they need,” Rep. Natalie Blais of Sunderland said.  

The main reason that lawmakers feel that this testing is so necessary is that it would also protect part of the state’s food supply. If many of the state’s farmers and agricultural workers are sick, stores and farmers markets won’t be able to provide the products that residents rely on.

At this point lawmakers have not heard back from state leaders about their requests. 

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