Michigan mandates plant COVID-19 testing

August 6, 2020

The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) has issued an Emergency Order requiring COVID-19 testing for agricultural and food processing employees. The order requires workplace safety measures in meat and poultry processing plans and safe housing for COVID positive migrant workers. In recent weeks, there have been 11 identified outbreaks in farms and food processing plants in Michigan. Employers of migrant or seasonal workers, and meat, poultry and egg processing facilities with over 20 employees on-site at a time must provide testing as follows:

  • One-time baseline testing of all workers
  • Testing of all new workers prior to any in-person work
  • Testing of any worker with symptoms or exposure

Employers and housing operators must complete a plan by August 10 for how they will conduct testing in compliance with this order. Completion of baseline testing and implementation of ongoing testing is required no later than August 24. COVID-positive and exposed employees would be required to isolate or quarantine until meeting the return-to-work criteria from the CDC.

MDHHS also released a guidance document for employers providing step-by-step information on how employers can complete testing, and highlighting resources like grant funding and insurance coverage through Medicaid that can provide financial support for testing.