Special Edition
Weekly COVID-19 Ag Task Force Response
You are formally invited to join a national COVID-19 Ag Task Force hosted by AgriSafe Network and sponsored by the Central States Center for Agricultural Safety and Health. This is an open-invitation discussion with rural health and safety professionals, Ag commodity associations, NPOs, government agencies, academia and the agricultural community. We need to keep our COVID-19 response discussions moving towards innovation and collaboration. These weekly web based think tanks will run every Thursday at 11am CDT through the end of May. If you cannot attend the live events, each week the recordings will be posted here .

 Thursday, April 9, 2020 Topics and Presenters:
  • AgriSafe Intern- Emma Bergqvist
  • Topic: Rural Epidemiology of COVID-19
  • AgSafe- Amy Wolfe, Emeritus President and CEO
  • Topic: COVID- 19 Resources and Guidance for Agricultural Operations
  • NRHA- Max Isaacoff - Government Affairs
  • Topic: NRHA Update on Policy and Resources Work 
  • Rural Health Information Hub- Kristine Sande Program Director
  • Topic: COVID-19 Resources for Agricultural Communities
Thank you for the generous support:
What Ag Producers Need to Know About COVID19
This webinar took place on March 23, 2020 and highlights evidence-based information about COVID19 to help agricultural producers identify strategies for responding on their farm. The i ntended audience is ag producers, ranchers, farmers, farmworkers, veterinarians, Extension personnel, rural health care providers, and others who work in agriculture. The webinar is available OnDemand!

At the end of the webinar, participants will be able to:
  • Be aware of common signs and symptoms of COVID-19
  • Understand the transmission risk to yourself, employees, and potentially your animals
  • Describe infection control principles and appropriate strategies for limiting disease transmission
  • Locate resources and training for ag producers related to infection prevention
Thank you for the generous support:
Tulane School of Public Health Interns Join COVID-19 Rapid Response Team
Emma Bergqvist
Emma is a first year MPH student at Tulane School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine with a concentration in epidemiology. Her research interests include infectious disease epidemiology and zoonotic diseases. She obtained a Bachelor’s degree in Biology with a minor in Health Policy, which has given her an understanding of diseases, and an interest in how policy can temper them. She will assist AgriSafe and other industry leaders understand the rural epidemiology of COVID-19.
Katherine Feemster
Katherine is in her final year as an MPH graduate student at Tulane University School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in Animal Science from Louisiana State University. and post-baccalaureate certification in Homeland Security studies from Tulane University. She currently also works in a research support position at the Tulane National Primate Research Center, focused on assisting the work involved in finding treatments and vaccines for a multitude of infectious diseases including, most recently, COVID-19. Katherine will be serving as the lead intern for the COVID-19 think tank series.
Free Distance Learning Opportunities
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So now that the instructor-led, in-person expertise is not available how do you continue to foster learning? AgriSafe has a solution....
AgriSafe has two learning paths offered FREE of charge. 
  • Safety in Agriculture- The goal of these trainings is to reduce occupational injuries and illness among agricultural producers with a targeted focus on female producers. Topics include respiratory health, prevention of back pain, workplace violence, ergonomics, hazard communication, and reproductive health. 
  • Invest in Your Health- AgriSafe is offering this Train-the-Trainer series to anyone who works with youth (ages 14-23 years). The series of modules will walk you through 5 target areas and includes an instructor guide after completing each topic.

R egistration for these courses takes place in the AgriSafe Learning Lab . If you are not currently an AgriSafe member, you can still register. All you need to do is set up a guest account, which is free of charge. 
Earn Continuing Nursing Education Credits
Many of us are disappointed that professional meeting and conferences scheduled in the coming months have been cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Obviously, decisions to cancel or postpone are the right choice and necessary public health safety precautions. Because many healthcare provider have been planning on those meetings to help meet professional development and licensure requirements, we need to find other opportunities to learn and to sharpen our skills.

For rural nurses, nursing educators, and nurse managers, the AgriSafe Nurse Scholar program is an 18 hour online, OnDemand CNE program designed to address rural healthcare issues unique to the agricultural community. Information is provided by a team of experienced educators with extensive backgrounds and knowledge in agricultural health and safety education. The course runs through early November 2020 and may be just what you are looking for while travel and learning opportunities are restricted.
Self Care During COVID-19
By design, humans are social creatures. Self quarantine and social/physical distancing can be tough along with the disruption of normal work/school routines. Uncertainty of the future seems to be the general vibe. Finding innovative ways to connect can positively change our stress, our mood. Write a letter to relatives, journal, or create a daily gratitude list. 

Check out other self care tips to weather the current storm.
Protect Yourself by Wearing Proper PPE
The shortage of appropriate personal protective equipment during this COVID-19 crisis is a major concern for healthcare providers on the frontline of patient care. The recommendation from CDC is the minimal protection is a NIOSH approved N-95 respirator. This is an extremely small virus! 

While we all appreciate the hard work and efforts of so many community members to develop and make cloth and paper mask, it needs to be emphasized these do not have the ability to protect you from the COVID-19 virus. Surgical masks and other paper and cloth masks may prevent a care provider from unintentional coughing, sneezing on a patient or may even catch some large, visible droplets coming your way, but cannot provide any protection against viruses. A false sense of security can potentially have negative outcomes.
In these critical times, it is important for all of us follow the Center for Disease Control’s guidelines regarding respiratory protection.

Click Here for more information.