COVID-19 Response and Resources

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The Tennessee Department of Agriculture continues to closely monitor the COVID-19 situation. We take the health of citizens and our staff very seriously and are following best practices to minimize the spread of the virus.

The latest information on the COVID-19 outbreak in Tennessee is available online at  

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COVID-19:  Toolkit for Ag Operators and Workers

COVID-19 Prevention, Monitoring, and Management for Agricultural Settings (English / Español)
Recursos e información en español sobre COVID-19
Employee Rights Under the Families First Coronavirus Response Act

Tips for Farm Operators (English / Español)
Flyer:  Tips for Farm Workers (English / Español)
Poster 11x17:
  Tips for Farm Operators (English / Español )
Poster 11x17:   Tips for Farm Workers (English / Español)

Video:  Proceso de Prueba COVID-19 (COVID-19 Testing Process)
Video:  ¿Qué es Covid-19? (1 o 3) (What is COVID-19)
Video:  ¿Cómo se propaga COVID-19? (2 o 3) (How does COVID-19 Spread)
Video:  Protégete de COVID-19 (3 o 3) (How to Protect Yourself from COVID-19)
Video:  WebEx for Farm Operators Hosted by the Tennessee Departments of Agriculture and Health

CDC Guidance for Workplaces and Businesses

Can I get COVID-19 from food or food packaging?
Food has not been identified as a likely source of COVID-19. However, it is always important to follow good practices to ensure proper food handling and safety, including washing your hands before food preparation and eating. Learn more.

Is it safe to eat fresh produce?
COVID-19 is not known to be caused from eating food, so safety of fresh produce should not be a concern relative to this virus. Washing produce with clean water before consumption is always a good practice. It is not recommended to wash produce with dish soap or any detergent, or to treat produce with chemical disinfectants at home. Learn more.

Should I be concerned about going to the grocery store?
There is no evidence that COVID-19 can be transmitted by food or food packaging. Shoppers should follow good practices for health, including washing or sanitizing hands upon entering a store and as soon as possible after leaving. Maintain at least 6 feet of distance between yourself and others while shopping, avoid touching surfaces unnecessarily, and avoid touching your face. Do not go to a store if you feel ill or if you have been exposed to someone who is sick with COVID-19. Learn more.

CDC recommends wearing cloth face coverings in public settings where other social distancing measures are difficult to maintain (e.g., grocery stores and pharmacies), especially in areas of significant community-based transmission. 

Is it safe to visit a farmers market, on-farm retail store, or a pick-your-own farm during the COVID-19 pandemic?
Despite the crisis, Tennessee’s farmers continue to produce safe, fresh, local foods. Farmers markets and farms that sell directly to the public are ideal sources for fresh vegetables, meats, and food products.

Use the Pick Tennessee Products website or mobile app to find a farmers market or farm near you. Make sure to contact the business before visiting, as there may be new procedures in place. Many have enhanced safety measures to protect the health of their customers and staff, including advance ordering and pick up options.

You should not visit a market or farm if you feel ill or if you have been exposed to someone who is sick with COVID-19.

Should I have my pet tested for COVID-19?
The Tennessee Department of Agriculture does not have plans to conduct widespread testing of animals for SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19). Currently, pets or livestock are not thought to be involved in COVID-19 transmission to other animals or to people.

At this time, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), and the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) do not recommend routine testing of companion animals for COVID-19. Should testing of a companion animal be requested, the Tennessee State Veterinarian and the State Epidemiologist will work together to make a joint decision. Learn more.

Ag Industry Partners

Partner Resources

Extension Service - COVID-19 Resources
Tennessee Farm Bureau Federation - COVID-19 Information
American Farm Bureau - What's in the CARES Act for Agriculture?
TN Association of Farmers Markets - Responding to COVID-19
Farmers Market Coalition - COVID-19 Updates
TN Grocers & Convenience Store Assn. - COVID-19 Resources
North American Farmers Direct Marketing Association - Managing Agritourism Through Coronavirus

USDA has a wealth of information on their website, including FAQs on access to food, animal and plant health, food safety, pet safety, and the Paycheck Protection Program. They also offer a federal resource guide which is a one-stop-shop for those seeking federal funding and partnership opportunities to help address this pandemic.

USDA Rural Development
is also frequently updating their website with resources and information to help rural residents, businesses, and communities affected by COVID-19.

Good Health & Stopping the Spread

Human and Animal Health

TN Department of Health - COVID-19 Information and Updates
Centers for Disease Control - Learn More About COVID-19
For Pet and Livestock Owners -  Animals and COVID-19
TN Department of Agriculture - Guidelines for Testing Companion Animals for COVID-19
Extension Service - COVID-19 and Livestock Questions & Answers

Fact or Fiction?

Fact vs. Fiction of COVID-19

Federal Emergency Management Agency - Rumor Control
World Health Organization - COVID-19 Myth Busters


Find Fresh, Local Food Near You

While the COVID-19 outbreak continues to evolve, Tennessee farms and farmers markets remain ideal sources for fresh and local produce, dairy products, and meats. Pick Tennessee Products will connect you with local farms, markets, and businesses growing, producing, and selling foods right here in Tennessee.