Home Publications Tree Planters' Notes Tree Planters' Notes Volume 64, Number 1 (2021) Nursery Strategies to Maintain Production and Protect Human Health During the Coronavirus Pandemic

Nursery Strategies to Maintain Production and Protect Human Health During the Coronavirus Pandemic

The coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic of 2020 caused a dramatic shift in operating procedures at forest and conservation nurseries throughout North America. Even though nurseries were deemed essential businesses, State and Provincial guidelines required nurseries to implement protocols to minimize the spread of the virus, including social distancing, mask requirements in closed spaces, frequent disinfecting, and monitoring symptoms of workers across all activities within nurseries. In August 2020, a panel of nursery managers from western Canada, western United States, and southern United States participated in a webinar to discuss individual strategies taken to keep workers safe while also ensuring seedlings were lifted and shipped and new seedlings were sown. All nurseries made substantial changes to limit contact between workers and developed contingency plans in case the virus spread within their facilities. Luckily, as of August 2020 no spread was recorded in any participating nurseries. The lessons learned and the steps taken to protect workers during the pandemic are described in this article. Although not without short-term impacts on added costs and decreased efficiencies, the practices implemented should help nurseries be more resilient to future events that may cause similar disruptions to operations.


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Author(s): Andrew S. Nelson, Diane L. Haase, Siriol Paquet, Jacky Friedman, Sean Webb, Gina Sowders, Tom Stevens, Steven B. Kiiskila

Publication: Tree Planters' Notes - Volume 64, Number 1 (2021)

Volume: 64

Number: 1

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