COVID-19: Helping Farmworkers in Florida

In the southwestern Florida community of Immokalee, tens of thousands of migrant farmworkers and other essential workers have had no choice but to stay on the job amid the coronavirus pandemic. Across the United States, farmworkers are at particularly high risk of contracting COVID-19 due to crowded living and transportation conditions, and limited ability to prevent infection at the workplace. Long workdays and language barriers often keep them from reaching the health services they need.

To respond to these needs, Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) has launched a public health education campaign in collaboration with the Coalition of Immokalee Workers and runs free, mobile COVID-19 testing clinics with the Collier County Department of Health and the Healthcare Network of Southwest Florida. “Many farmworkers work long hours, six days a week,” said Maria Plata, a local MSF health promoter. “They can’t afford to take a day off work to visit a clinic, so we are bringing the clinics to them at a convenient time and place, and in a safe environment.”