While Whatcom County residents celebrate their advance to Phase 2 of the Safe Start COVID response, our farmers have been scrambling to source personal protective equipment and adapt their procedures following yet another change to safety rules from the governor’s office.

Effective June 5, Phase 2 allows businesses which had been closed since March to open again. It also allows expanded recreation opportunities, and loosens social distancing requirements. Only two days earlier, a new set of unrealistic and unnecessary rules had been put in place for farmers, without any input from them or the public.

The staggering inconsistency of loosening restrictions for the public and business while simultaneously tightening requirements for farms shows that these new rules for farms are politically motivated, and aren’t about keeping workers safe.

While Whatcom County residents are given more leeway to visit friends, family and local businesses, farmers could be put out of business if an employee doesn’t wash their hands for a full 20 seconds. Where’s the sense in that?