As a farming community, we recognize that some risk of COVID-19 transmission may increase with the pace of harvest work, and therefore, COVID-19 specific harvest protocols must be considered and adopted. This guide is meant to provide comprehensive recommendations that prioritize the health and safety of vineyard workers as we harvest amidst a global pandemic.
Vineyards are considered relatively safe worksites when it comes to COVID-19. Work is primarily conducted outdoors with ample space for social distancing. However, workers may live with many family members or in congregate living spaces and often carpool to work. Napa County Public Health believes that most positive COVID-19 cases, among all Napa County residents, come from social gatherings with family and friends, rather than from the workplace. These everyday environmental factors increase the risk of contracting COVID-19 and the possibility of bringing it to the workplace.
With statewide infection rates peaking as harvest approaches, it is safe to assume that, at some point, someone on your team could contract COVID-19. While it is unlikely that you can prevent this scenario, you can prevent transmission of the virus to the rest of the vineyard team with best practices and compliance with mandated safety standards.
As with many issues that impact farming operations, a one-size fits all approach for preventing COVID-19 in vineyards does not exist. These protocols have been compiled by NVG and the Napa Valley Farmworker Foundation to provide suggestions for making the vineyard and vineyard-adjacent workspaces as safe as possible for preventing COVID-19 transmission.