Migrant Farm Worker Dies of COVID in Government Mandated Quarantine

Yesterday, on May 20, 2021, a 4th migrant farm worker died of COVID-19, the 5th migrant farm worker to die during the Federal government mandated quarantine just this year. 

Fausto Ramirez Plazas arrived in Canada from Mexico on April 22nd. He had tested negative on his mandatory pre-travel COVID test, and tested negative again upon arrival at Pearson International Airport. Him and his co-workers were put into quarantine by their employer, Procyk Farms in Norfolk County, three people per room. Fausto and his coworkers tested positive for COVID on their mandatory 10 day test. Fausto died in hospital in Brantford on May 20. 

“Clearly what the government is doing to supposedly protect workers is not enough. Only permanent immigration status will give workers the power to protect themselves from bad working conditions and from COVID. These workers are dying in quarantine mandated by the federal government, which means they are dying on the federal government’s watch. How many workers have to die before Justin Trudeau takes action and grants status for all?”, says Luisa Ortíz, Farm Worker Organizer with the Migrant Workers Alliance for Change.

We have been able to confirm at least 5 other migrant farm worker deaths in 2021:

  • Logan Grant. Died March 13, 2021. In quarantine for eight days.
  • Roberto Jacob Baca Gomez. Died March 22, 2021. In quarantine for three days.
  • Jose Antonio Coronado. Died April 23, 2021. In quarantine for seven days. 
  • Romario Morgan. Died April 29, 2021. In quarantine for thirteen days. 
  • Name unknown. Died April 30, 2021. Hospitalized, reportedly of COVID-19.

In a statement released by MWAC Farm Worker members on May 5, workers demanded the government grant status for all immediately, in addition to an immediate investigation into all the deaths, automatic and immediate compensation for families of the deceased, and changes to quarantine procedures to ensure workers are protected, developed with leadership from workers themselves. 

For media inquiries: Karen Cocq, 647-970-8464, karen@migrantworkersalliance.org