Farmworker Housing Simulator


This simulation tool is designed to show how easily a virus can spread among farmworkers based on room size and how beds are arranged in their housing. It also suggests alternative room arrangements to help prevent or reduce the spread of illness within a shared space. This simulator uses a simplified model of farmworker housing, so results should not be viewed as exact predictions. Instead, please consider this a tool for seeing how small changes can make significant reductions in the spread of a virus. To begin, tell us about the bedroom setup in your workers’ housing.

Room Width: feet

Room Length: feet

Single beds or bunk beds?

If using bunk beds, are individuals alternating which direction they sleep between top and bottom bunks?

This simulation assumes that:

  • someone who is infected may be contagious for between 2-14 days before showing signs that they are sick
  • once a worker is identified as sick, the worker will be removed from the workplace and housing environment

How many days do you want to run this simulation for?

Lastly, to model how the virus is spread through day-to-day interactions, we use what is known as an S-I-R model (for susceptible, infected, removed/recovered). S-I-R models are what you see in the news when people talk about trying to flatten the curve. A key piece of this model is estimating how much someone with the virus is in contact with others – that is why you see news and leaders advocating for social distancing. Lowering the number of contacts is what helps flatten the curve. Everything you can do to help minimize contact helps, like frequent hand washing and wearing face coverings. With that in mind, please select the description below that best represents your farm’s approach.

This work has been supported by the Northeast Center for Occupational Health and Safety (NEC) under the New York Center for Agricultural Medicine and Health (NYCAMH).

For questions, please contact Leigh McCue,