Inslee introduces new farmworker protections


"We want them to know their rights"

PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — Washington Governor Jay Inslee announced new protections for farmworkers in the state on Thursday.

Requirements include physical distancing, increased handwashing, access to face coverings and more. The state also encourages workers to come forward if they feel unsafe at their workplace.

“We want them to know their rights,” Joel Sacks, Director of the Department of Labor & Industries, said during a press conference.

Training and education are also part of the plan.

Inslee also announced a broad testing strategy at long-term care facilities. All residents and staff at nursery homes will be tested within the next 2 weeks. Live-in facilities with memory care units will be within the next four weeks.

On Wednesday, Inslee announced outdoor religious services can be held on the organization’s property, with up to 100 individuals, who all must use face coverings. For areas in Phase 2, indoor religious services will be held at 25% capacity or 50 individuals with face coverings.

Inslee loosens restrictions for religious gatherings

Also for counties in Phase 2, in home services with 5 people or less is allowed, but if they include people from outside the household, then face coverings are required.

Religious services included are all worship services, religious classes, weddings and funerals. There is no limit on how many times per day. No choirs are allowed but singing is allowed with face coverings.

Inslee is also encouraging physical distancing in all situations.

On Wednesday the Washington State Department of Health also updated the definition of “close contact” to be in alignment with new guidelines from the CDC. A close contact is now defined as someone who was within 6 feet of someone with COVID-19 for at least 15 minutes (instead of 10 minutes.)

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