New Mexico chile farms may face worker shortage amid virus | KOB 4
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New Mexico chile farms may face worker shortage amid virus

New Mexico chile farms may face worker shortage amid virus

The Associated Press
Updated: April 29, 2020 10:21 AM
Created: April 29, 2020 06:30 AM

HATCH, N.M. (AP) — A chile farmer in southern New Mexico says his workers aren’t tending the fields because they’re worried about contracting COVID-19.

KVIA-TV in El Paso, Texas, reports Sergio Grajeda says fears over the novel coronavirus are keeping workers away from his chile farm in New Mexico’s Hatch Valley.

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Grajeda has more than 100 acres of pecans and chile. He told the station he employs dozens of workers typically during the harvest.

He had to tend to his own fields on Monday.

New Mexico Department of Agriculture spokeswoman Kristie Garcia says the state has not yet received this specific complaint but has guidance online for farmers and workers to stay safe.

State health officials on Tuesday reported the number of COVID-19 cases in New Mexico was approaching 3,000 while 110 people have died from the virus. Rural McKinley County leads with the most cases followed by Bernalillo County, the state’s most populous area.

For most people, the new coronavirus causes mild or moderate symptoms, such as fever and cough that clear up in two to three weeks.

For some, especially older adults and people with existing health problems, it can cause more severe illness, including pneumonia and death.


(Copyright 2020 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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