PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — Farmers have recently been speaking out about how complying with COVID-19 regulations is going to put them under — but now Oregon Governor Kate Brown is directing the distribution of masks and sanitizer to help them.
The Oregon National Guard is delivering 1 million N-95 masks and 5,000 gallons of hand sanitizer to farm workers throughout the state.
“We’re getting 560 face masks and 4 gallons of hand sanitizers,” said Brian Parks, a tree farmer in Boring, Oregon
Farmers like Parks are flocking to locations such as the Oregon State University Extension Service’s drive-thru, where they can pick up this personal protective equipment — for free — to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
Farmers say protection like these masks have been hard to come by.
“We’ve actually been having somebody sew them — but as far as ordering we haven’t been able to find very many at all.”
Leah Sundquist with OSU Extension says the PPE comes from Governor Kate Brown, Oregon Department of Agriculture, Oregon Emergency Management and the Oregon National Guard.
“It’s been difficult for [the farmers], I think we’re all finding ways of operating in this new normal,” said Sundquist. “I think this is a good opportunity that will help them.”
This protective gear also comes after we’ve reported on outbreaks of COVID-19 at food processing and agricultural facilities — for instance, at firestone pacific foods in Vancouver.
“I think it’s a matter of getting the word out that the best thing to do is wear the face mask,” said Sundquist.
With harvest just around the corner, farmers hope this protection will help them reap what they’ve sown.
There’s about 18 sites like the one at OSU’s site throughout the state and limited supplies will be provided Wednesday and Thursday until supplies are fully distributed. Documentation is not required but those picking up PPE will be asked to provide business contact information.
Full list of locations:
Locations for PPE pickup on Wednesday, May 27:
- Clackamas County: 200 Warner Milne Road, Oregon City 97045
- Clatsop County: 92937 Walluski Loop, Astoria 97103 (Gate 3)
- Columbia County: 505 N Columbia River Hwy, St. Helens 97051
- Linn, Benton: 33630 McFarland Rd, Tangent 97389
- Marion County: 2330 17th St NE, Salem 97301
- Polk County: Polk County Fairgrounds, Rickreall (Hwy 99W)
- Washington County: 1815 NW 169th Place, Suite 1000, Bldg. 1, Beaverton 97006
- Yamhill County: 2070 NE Lafayette Ave, McMinnville 97128
Locations for PPE pickup on Thursday, May 28:
- Deschutes County: 3800 SW Airport Way, Bldg. #4, Redmond 97756
- Douglas, Coos, Curry: 333 NE Jackson Street, Roseburg 97470
- Jackson, Klamath: 569 Hanley Road, Central Point 97502
- Jefferson, Crook, Wheeler: 850 NW Dogwood Ln, Madras 97741
- Josephine County: 215 Ringuette Street, Grants Pass 97527
- Lane County: 796 W 13th Ave, Eugene 97402
- Lincoln: 1211 SE Bay Boulevard, Newport 97365
- Morrow, Umatilla, Sherman, Gilliam: 30588 Feedville Road, Hermiston 97838
- Multnomah County: 17788 SE Pine Street, Portland 97233
- Tillamook County: 4506 3rd Street, Tillamook 97141
For the following locations only, call for details:
- Hood River: 541.387.4769
- Malheur, Baker, Grant, Lake, Harney, Union, Wallowa: 541.889.5274
- Wasco: 541.506.2753