COVID-19

4/13/2020

Please take a moment to review the most up to date guidance from the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) for critical workers who may have been exposed to COVID-19.

If you have specific questions regarding an exposure concern please direct them to either Heidi 319-461-1160 or Amanda 319-461-1165. Thank you!

4/7/2020

As many of you are aware, Iowa is one of a few states in the nation who have not instituted “shelter in place” or “safer at home” laws. In light of that we are preparing should these same regulations be implemented in Iowa. As part of this essential workers may need to carry a written letter stating their necessity for travel to and from work. We are including a sample permit letter from the National Pork Producer’s Council (NPPC). Please feel free to copy, paste and fill as needed for yourself and your employees.

Essential Critical Worker Permit Letter

​3/31/2020

Beginning April 1, 2020 the front office at JWV will be closed to the general public and non-essential foot traffic. If you need items from the office please call 319-653-4933 for assistance. For regular cell phone maintenance please call Jenni Moore to arrange a drop off – cell phone should be placed into a clean resealable plastic bag at transfer.

For individuals arriving to the office to complete applications, a clipboard is available in the main entrance vestibule at the office with both Spanish and English application forms.

We continue to remind everyone to maintain a six foot distance to minimize disease risk. DO NOT COME TO WORK if you are experiencing any of the following symptoms – sore throat, shortness of breath, cough, or fever greater than 100.4F. If you are exhibiting any signs of infection please call your primary care provider for evaluation. Notify your supervisor if you are unable to come to work.

It is your responsibility to protect yourself with good hand washing, disinfecting and maintaining distance. Employees should use special caution with high use equipment such as time clocks, steering wheels, gear shifts, and door handles in shared vehicles.

Thank you for your cooperation as we work to maintain the health and safety of our workforce.

​3/25/2020

COVID-19 Employee Update

Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses that are common in humans and many different species of animals. The virus that causes the COVID-19 coronavirus is now spreading from person-to-person both in Iowa and around the world. It spreads between people who are in close contact with one another (within about 6 feet), and through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes. It may be possible that a person can get COVID-19 by touching a surface or object that has the virus on it and then touching their own mouth, nose, or eyes. Social distancing measures are being taken to help reduce the spread of disease.

Symptoms of the COVID-19 disease include:

  • Fever (>100.4 F)
  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath

If you have respiratory symptoms and believe that you may have COVID-19, you should seek medical testing at your nearest respiratory triage clinic. Our local triage clinic is located at: Washington County Hospitals and Clinics Medical Clinic Location, 444 East Polk Street, Washington. 

“Patients should call 319-653-7291. All patients will be pre-screened to determine whether to be seen at the Family Medicine Clinic or the Respiratory Triage Clinic.

Patients scheduled to be seen at the Respiratory Triage Clinic will be required to stay in their car until a staff member approaches them with additional instructions. Some evaluation and testing may be done at the patient’s car. Staff will be present outside of the clinic to greet each patient (car) presenting for an appointment. Unless absolutely necessary, any support person/family members will be instructed to remain in the car when the patient enters the facility for further evaluation by a provider.”

Additionally, the government has come out with guidelines which will go into effect April 2, 2020. The goal of the guidelines is to allow those affected by the COVID-19 disease to stay home and not spread the disease to co-workers.

You will not lose pay for absences related to COVID-19 diagnoses for yourself or a member of your household.

Protecting Employee Health

The health and safety of our employees has always been a top priority for us. While many of us work alone or at some distance from one another, some work sites such as sow farms, share meals and take breaks together and we share common tools and equipment. Minimizing or eliminating contact is not only important to employee health and safety it can also reduce the risk of business interruption due to decreased staffing related to illness.

Agriculture and livestock operations are by nature dusty and dirty, so keeping work areas sanitary can be a never-ending chore. The problem is it is not the dirt we can see but the virus that we can’t see. Below are some helpful tips on social distancing, cleaning and disinfecting taken from the Center for Disease Control recommendations and adapted to the agricultural environment.

  • Breakrooms and Meals: For the foreseeable future we must discontinue communal meals and we must completely clean cooking and prep areas, discard all trash and empty the trash containers immediately following each meal. We must also ensure that counter tops, break tables, appliances and high touch areas such as door handles and chairs are cleaned and sanitized as often as they are used. Meals breaks should be staggered to maintain the 6 feet of social distancing.
  • Common Work Areas: Hand sanitizer should be used before and after using timeclocks in all work areas. Most worksites already utilize a daily clean up and sanitation checklist, if your worksite has not yet implemented one, now is a good time to start. If you use the computer in the common space at the office be sure to wipe down the keyboard before and after each use. Attention should also be increased for toilet facilities, showers, and dressing areas.
  • Shared tools and Equipment: Hand tools and power tools are commonly shared items that are often used by multiple individuals on any given day. The good news is most of these items are non-porous and can be sprayed down after use with disinfectants. It is important to remove gross accumulations of dirt and grime before disinfecting so that the disinfectant can reach the surface to be cleaned. Pay particular attention to handles work surfaces.
  • Mobile Equipment and company Vehicles: Feed trucks, tractors, skid loaders and pickups are commonly used by multiple operators per day. The cabs and controls of this equipment should be cleaned and disinfected between each operator change. In addition to seats, steering wheels and controls, don’t forget seat belts and other porous surfaces. The best practice is for the operator leaving the equipment to clean and disinfect before turning it over to the next operator, and then a second follow up by the ongoing operator.
  •  Personal Protective equipment: PPE such as gloves, hard hats, rubber boots, and of course respirators should not be shared. Reusable PPE should be cleaned and disinfected at least daily, and stored in sealed protective containers to prevent the accumulation of dust and debris when not in use. Disposable PPE should be discarded in covered waste containers that are emptied daily. Nitrile gloves should be removed by hooking a fingertip under the outer surface of the wrist on one hand with the other and pulling the glove off inside out, down to the fingers. Follow the same process on the other hand so that the gloves are turned inside out, one inside of the other once they are removed.

Supply Shortages

Due to an increase in demand for personal protective equipment, household items, and cleaning supplies we are experiencing a lack of availability of certain items. We are asking that if dust masks are not soiled that you place the mask into a resealable plastic bag and reuse them. Please label the bag with your name.  Masks should remain at specific farm sites and not be transferred from barn to barn or farm to farm. Dust masks should not be shared between persons and if eye protection is shared between people it should be wiped down with a disinfectant wipe after each use.

The following is a list of other items that are in short supply. Please be practical when ordering and order if your work site truly NEEDS these items. Jenni has been working diligently to keep items stocked at the office but may be unable to keep up with large orders.

  • Toilet paper
  • Disinfecting wipes
  • Bleach
  • Rubbing Alcohol
  • Ammonia
  • Spray bottles
  • All Pacs and laundry soap
  • Distilled water
  • Deep AI Rods
  • Plastic boot covers
  • Dish soap
  • Scrub brushes
  • All-purpose cleaners
  • Bottled water
  • Tyvek coveralls
  • Dust Masks
  • Most disinfectants

You can substitute disinfectant wipes with a Tork towel & Virkon and then wipe the item off. Blue or white Tork towels would be a good substitute as they are heavier duty and won’t fall apart like a common paper towel.

Also, as a reminder if you are taking spray bottles with Virkon from the office please remember that Virkon in the spray bottle it is only good for one week. If you need them refilled weekly please wipe them down before returning to office, put them in the vestibule prior to Sunday and we will be sure to refill weekly.

For work sites with 6 or more people we ask that break schedules be staggered to help minimize the risk of disease spread. This break schedule will be in effect beginning March 26, 2020 until the COVID19 risk has been reduced.

Name the employees at your site: ________________________________________________________________________________

8:15 A  ______________ ______________ ______________

8:45 B  ______________ ______________ ______________

9:15 C  ______________ ______________ ______________

9:45 D  ______________ ______________ ______________

EN ESPANOL…

COVID-19 Actualización de empleados

Actualización sobre el Coronavirus(COVID-19) Empleados, La familia de coronaviruses es grande y común entre humanos y muchos diferentes especies de animales. El virus que causa el COVID-19 coronavirus ahora se está propagando de persona-a-persona en Iowa y alrededor del mundo. La propagación ocurre entre personas que estén en contacto cercano menos de 6 pies y mediante gotas respiratorias producidas cuando una persona infectada tose o estornuda. Puede ser posible que la persona se contagie de COVID-19 con solo tocar una superficie o objeto que tiene el virus y después tocarse la boca, nariz, o ojos. Medidas de distanciamiento social se están tomando para ayudar a reducir la propagación de la enfermedad.

Síntomas del Coronavirus(COVID-19) incluyen:

  • Fiebre (mas de 100.4 F)
  • Tos
  • Problemas para respirdar

Si tu tienes síntomas respiratorios y crees que puedes tener COVID-19, debes buscar una clínica que ayude con enfermedades respiratorias más cercana a ti que priorice casos severos. Nuestra clinica local es: Washington County Hospitals and Clinics Medical Clinic 444 East Polk Street, Washington, IA 52353

Pacientes deben llamar al (319) 653-7291. Todos los pacientes serán escaneados para determinar si deben ser vistos por la clínica de medicina familiar o la clínica especializada en enfermedades respiratorias.

Pacientes con cita para ver un especialista en la clínica respiratoria tienen la obligación de quedarse en su vehículo hasta que un empleado llegue con instrucciones adicionales. Algunos exámenes y evaluaciones serán hechas en su vehículo. Empleados estarán presentes afuera de la clínica para recibir cada paciente en su vehículo, solo si tiene cita. Solo si es absolutamente necesario, cualquier apoyo de amigos o familiares se les dará instrucciones de quedarse en su vehículo cuando el paciente entre a la instalación para más evaluaciones por el proveedor.

Adicionalmente, el gobierno ha implementado reglas que empiezan Abril 2, 2020. La meta de estas reglas es permitir que los afectados por la enfermedad COVID-19 se queden en casa para no propagar la enfermedad a compañeros de trabajo.

Tu no perderás paga por tu ausencia si te han diagnosticado a ti o algún miembro de tu casa con COVID-19.

Protegiendo la salud de los empleados

La salud y seguridad de nuestros empleados siempre han sido nuestra primera prioridad. Mientras algunos trabajan solos o a cierta distancia de unos a otros algunos sitios como la granjas de reproducción comparten comidas y toman su tiempo de descanso juntos. Todos compartimos ciertas herramientas y equipo. Minimizando o eliminando contacto no solo es importante para la salud y seguridad de empleados también puede reducir el riesgo de interrumpir el trabajo debido a la disminución de trabajadores por enfermedad.

Operaciones agrícolas y de ganado por naturaleza involucran polvo y ensuciarse, así que la tarea de mantener áreas sanitarias nunca se acabara. El problema no es la tierra que podemos ver, es el virus que no podemos ver. A continuación hay algunos consejos útiles sobre distanciamiento social, limpieza y desinfección tomados del centro de control de enfermedades adaptados a medioambiente agrícola.

 

  • Salas de descanso y Alimentos: Por el futuro previsible nosotros debemos suspender alimentos comunitarios, limpiar cocinas profundamente, desechar todo al bote de basura y retire la bolsa de basura inmediatamente después de cada comida. Debemos también asegurarnos que las superficies, mesas, electrodomésticos y lugares con contacto frecuente como las manijas de puertas y sillas se limpien y desinfecten cada vez que se usen. Durante el tiempo de descanso deben mantenerse a 6 pies de distancia.
  • Áreas comunes de Trabajo: Gel antibacterial debe ser usado antes y después de usar el reloj registrador en todos lugares. La mayoría de los sitios ya lo limpian y desinfectan como parte de su lista diaria. Si tu sitio no ha implementado una lista de limpieza ahora es un buen momento para empezar a crearla/improvisarla/implementarla. Si tu usas la computadora en un sitio commun asegúrate de desinfectar el teclado antes y después de cada uso. Atención también debe ser incrementada en el baño, la ducha, y áreas de vestir.
  • Herramientas y Equipo Compartido: Herramientas de mano y herramienta eléctrica son comúnmente compartidas por individuales múltiples en cualquier día. La buena noticia es que la mayoría de las herramientas no tienen poros y pueden rociarse con desinfectante. Es importante limpiar la herramienta de tierra o grasa antes de desinfectar para que el desinfectante pueda alcanzar la superficie contaminada. Tome atención particular a las manijas o mangos.
  • Equipo Mobile y Vehículos de la Compañía: Camiones de alimento, tractores, minicargadoras(skid-loaders) y trocas son usadas comúnmente por varios individuales cada dia. La cabina y controles de este equipo deben ser limpiados. Junto con los asientos, el volante, y los controles no se te olvide el cinturón de seguridad, y otras superficies con poros. La mejor práctica es que el operador antes de irse limpie y desinfecte por el siguiente operador.
  • Equipo de Protección Individual: EPI como los guantes, cascos, botas de plástico, y claro respiradores NO deben compartirse. EPI reusable debe limpiarse y desinfectarse por lo menos una vez al dia y guardarse en un contenedor protector para prevenir la accumulacion de polvo y restos cuando no están en uso. EPI desechable debe ser deshecho al bote de basura con tapadera que son retiradas diariamente. Guantes nitrite debe ser retirados con un dedo debajo de guante opuesto en gancho para quitarse el guante al revés., que lo sucio quede adentro del guante. Que su mano no toque lo sucio del guante.

Debido a la demanda cada vez mayor por equipo de protección personal, artículos domésticos y equipo de limpieza estamos experimentando falta de disponibilidad de ciertos artículos. Le pedimos que si su mascarilla no está sucia no la deseche, guárdela en una bolsa de plástico para usarla de nuevo. Póngale su nombre a la bolsa y mantengala en ese sitio. La mascarilla no se deben compartir. Si usa protección ocular que es compartida asegúrese de desinfectar después de cad uso. Lo siguiente es una lista de otros artículos que son escasos. Por favor sea práctico cuando ordene y solo ordene si su sitio de trabajo en verdad NECESITA estos artículos. Jenni ha estado trabajando diligentemente para mantener artículos disponibles en la oficina pero puede ser incapaz de estar a la corriente de órdenes grandes.

 

  • Papel higienico
  • Toallitas desinfectantes
  • Cloro
  • Alcohol desinfectante
  • Amoniaco
  • Botellas de spray Jabón de ropa Agua destilada Varillas de IA profundas
  • Caterteres y post-cervicales
  • Botas de plastic
  • Jabón de trastes
  • Cepillo de fregar
  • Limpiadores es multi-uso
  • Agua en botella
  • Overoles Tyvek
  • Mascarillas
  • Todos los desinfectantes

Tu puedes substituir toallitas desinfectantes con una toalla Tork y Virkon para limpiar la superficie.Toallas Tork azules o blancas sería un buen substituto como son más resistentes y duran. También, como recordatorio si estás llevando botellas de Virkon de la oficina por favor recuerda que Virkon solo es efectivo por una semana en la botella. Si el departamento de mantenimiento necesita que se le llenen solo limpie la botella y tráigala a la oficina y dejele en el vestíbulo antes del Domingo y le aseguramos llenársela con Virkon cada semana.

Para sitios de trabajo con 6 o más personas le pedimos que tomen su tiempo de descanso a diferentes tiempos para ayudar a reducir el riesgo de propagar la enfermedad entre trabajadores. Este horario de descanso se efectuará empezando Marzo 26, 2020 hasta que el riesgo de COVID-19 sea reducido.

Nombre los empleados en su sitio:

8:15 A ______________ ______________ ______________

8:45 B ______________ ______________ ______________

9:15 C ______________ ______________ ______________

9:45 D ______________ ______________ ______________

 

La junta de seguridad de Abril ha sido CANCELADA hasta nuevo aviso.

Una nota de la Clinica Veterinaria Walcott: En la luz de los eventos reciente sobre COVID-19, el coronavirus humano responsable por infecciones del via respiratorio superior mundialmente, los veterinarios en la clínica veterinaria Walcott quieren compartir la siguiente información tratándose del virus y su impacto en ambos humanos y animales.

 

  • COVID-19: Mientras el coronavirus causando el brote actual es nuevo, coronaviruses tienen historia de muchos años en ambas medicina humana y veterinaria. La familia de coronaviruses es grande (nombrado la estructura coronal del virus) se ha hecho saber que causa varias enfermedades respiratorias en humanos, animales domésticos, y vida silvestre. Tiende a ser mobile por huésped lo que significa que el virus no se puede mover entre especies.
  • Human/Animal Health: En este momento, investigaciones por WHO(Organización Mundial de la Salud, medicina humana) y OIE (Organización Mundial de salud animal) han indicado que COVID-19 no es un agente zoonótico y no se transmite entre humanos y animales. Esto significa que la continuación entre animales y humanos es segura para ambos con respecto al COVID-19. Sin embargo aún hay bastantes viruses y bacteria que puede compartirse entre humanos y animales así que hygiene apropiado es clave.
  • Signos y Síntomas: COVID-19 tiene síntomas similares a los de la influenza y incluyen fiebre, tos, dolor de garganta, y falta de aliento. Este brote de COVID-19 viene durante el tiempo del año en que enfermedades respiratorias de influenza, gripa, y otros viruses son muy frecuentes. Cualquiera que muestre estos síntomas debería permanecer en auto cuarentena y prevenir contacto con otras personas y animales. Para los que tienen síntomas severos busque ayuda médica.
  • Hygiene: Debido a que el virus es tan nuevo no hay una vacuna disponible para COVID-19. Por lo tanto el mejor modo de protegerse y proteger a otros de la transmission de COVID-19 es lavarse las manos apropiadamente, prevenir tocarse la cara, ojos y boca con manos sucias, Cubrirse la boca y nariz al estornudar o toser y mantener un medioambiente limpio. También recomiendan distanciamiento social para prevenir contacto con infectados. La meta es mantener a la mayoría de la población saludable y disminuir la propagación del virus para evitar abrumar los hospitales y centros médicos con casos que no se pueden tratar aun y darles posibilidades a los pacientes con cura.
  • Control del Virus: La mejor manera de ayudar a controlar COVID-19 is seguir las instrucciones dadas por el gobierno y agencias especializadas de ponerse en auto cuarentena, hygene, y procedimientos para obtener ayuda médica si es necesario. Para aquellos en ganadería agrícola se consiente en reducir el malgasto por ser más conservativo sobre tu uso de guantes, mascarillas, y otro equipo médico puede ayudar asegurar que hospitales humanos y centros médico continúen teniendo provisiones para cuidar a los enfermos por el virus.

Como siempre, Los doctores y empleados de la clínica veterinaria Walcott están dedicados a la atención médica de animales de granja y domésticos y el apoyo para aquellos que los cuidan diariamente. Nosotros continuaremos a cuidar a nuestros pacientes y cliente mientras asegurándonos de hacer nuestra parte en reducir la transmisión del COVID-19.

Allison Knox, Doctorado en Medicina Veterinaria, Clinica Veterinaria de Walcott

3/23/2020

In light of the recent events regarding COVID-19, the human coronavirus responsible for upper respiratory infections worldwide, the veterinarians at the Walcott Veterinary Clinic wanted to share the following information regarding the novel virus and its impact on both human and animal health.

  • COVID-19: While the coronavirus causing the current outbreak is new, coronaviruses have a long-standing history in both human and veterinary medicine. The large family of coronaviruses (named for the crown-like structure of the virus) has been known to cause various respiratory or enteric disease in humans, domesticated animals, and wildlife. They tend to be host-specific, meaning that the virus does not easily move from one species to the next.
  • Human/Animal Health: At this time, investigations by the WHO (World Health Organization, human medicine) and OIE (World Organization for Animal Health) have indicated that COVID-19 is not a zoonotic agent and is not transmissible between humans and animals. This means that continued interaction with pets and livestock animals is safe for both animals and people with regard to COVID-19. However, there are still plenty of other viruses and bacteria that can be shared between people and animals, so appropriate hygiene is still encouraged.
  • Signs & Symptoms: COVID-19 symptoms are similar to those of the flu and include fever, cough, sore throat, and shortness of breath. This COVID-19 outbreak comes at a time of year when respiratory illnesses from influenza, the common cold, and other viruses are highly prevalent. Anyone showing signs of respiratory illness should self-quarantine and avoid contact with other people and animals if possible. For those with severe symptoms, seek out medical advice for continued care and testing.
  • Hygiene: Because the virus is so new, there is not an available vaccine for COVID-19. Therefore, the best way to protect yourself and others from transmission of COVID-19 and other infective agents is properly washing hands, avoiding touching your mouth, eyes, and face with unwashed hands, covering mouth and nose when sneezing or coughing, and maintaining a clean environment. The CDC is also recommending social distancing as a way to avoid contact with potentially infected individuals. The goal is to keep as many members of the population healthy and slow the spread of the virus in order to avoid overwhelming hospitals and medical centers for those with more severe respiratory disease in need of medical care.
  • Control the Virus: One of the best ways we can all help to control COVID-19 is to follow instructions given by the CDC and other government agencies as it pertains to self-isolation, hygiene, and procedures for getting health care as needed. For those in animal agriculture, being mindful of reducing waste by conserving gloves, masks, and other medical equipment can help ensure that human hospitals and medical centers can continue to care for those affected by the virus.

As always, the doctors and staff of the Walcott Veterinary Clinic are dedicated to the healthcare of pets and livestock, and the support of those who care for them daily. We will continue to provide care to our patients and clients while ensuring that we do our part to reduce the transmission of COVID-19.

Allison Knox, DVM

Walcott Veterinary Clinic

​3/19/2020

Just as we are being reminded about biosecurity and human health, let’s take a moment to review clean and dirty lines in our barns.

Remember that what’s inside stays inside and what’s outside stays outside. This has been made even more important as another coronavirus, PED, is plentiful right now, and we have at least 5 locations where pigs have been affected. It is not possible for feed deliveries to PED sites to all  be last thing and get trucks washed afterwards because we are still washing livestock trailers for the next morning’s loads at that time as well. Don’t wear your inside boots outside and don’t take the dead carts across the driveway; don’t give feed delivery guys anything to track somewhere else, and don’t drag something back into your barns either. Thank you!

 

3/18/2020

Contingency planning underway

We have been in contact with JBS regarding their ability to continue slaughter and process in event of a more widespread outbreak of COVID-19. At this time, they have no plans of closing, but we are developing contingency plans to accommodate potential plant closures and/or limited kill times.

Effective immediately we are prioritizing barn dumps so we can continue our nursery flows and keep the sow farm pig flows moving forward. Once barns are empty, we are asking you to have your barns washed and disinfected immediately to give us more flexibility. If there are any openings in the schedule, we will pull weanings and feeder pig moves forward to close the gaps. 

If the plant closes or cancels loads, we will go to a limit-feeding program after barns are topped out which would mean filling feeders twice daily (morning & night) or adjusting feed timers for tube feeders to maintain control of pig weight. We will let you know if/when we begin that program.

In the meantime, we are asking for your cooperation and flexibility as we make changes and operate in this time of uncertainty.