The Quarantine Fund provides temporary financial assistance to Oregon agricultural workers who are 18 years or older, recovering from COVID-19, seeking healthcare, and practicing quarantine and isolation.
Agricultural Workers across the state depend on seasonal work to keep their families afloat. Unfortunately, due to economic need and hardship, agricultural workers cannot afford to take time off to quarantine themselves if they believe they have been in contact with COVID-19. During the pandemic, up 50 percent of workplace outbreaks in Oregon are affecting workers and employers in the food supply chain and agriculture the hardest. With the Oregon Worker Quarantine Fund – we can mitigate the spread of COVID-19 by providing workers with financial relief to take the financial stress off of the workers who keep Oregon fed, and crops from going unpicked.
- The average wage of an agricultural worker: $24,200 per year
- Most Agricultural Workers Report that they could not afford to take two weeks off for Quarantine if they were in contact with COVID-19
- Food packing and agriculture worksites are over-represented in current OHA data for workplace outbreaks. “list highlights the challenges of controlling COVID-19 in settings where people must work or live in close proximity. In addition, people of color are overrepresented in agricultural and … perhaps contributing to higher rates of COVID-19 observed in these groups” – OHA COVID-19 June 17, 2020 Weekly Report.
Agricultural Workers can have the opportunity, and guaranteed financial support to take the time they need to self-Quarantine. The fund uses the average weekly living expense factor, to build a system that provides up to 2 weeks of financial relief (with ability to re-apply, if they need to Quarantine again) to applicants who are eligible for the Oregon Worker Quarantine Fund.
- $430 for one-week
- $860 for two-weeks
For additional self-care quarantine assistance, workers must meet qualifying criteria above, to be eligible to reapply. Applications are considered on a case-by-case basis. First time applicants may be given priority due to limited funds.
The Quarantine Fund is administered through the Oregon Worker Relief Coalition. The Oregon Worker Quarantine Fund housed at the coalition means it can mirror the universal state-wide application system of the Oregon Worker Relief Fund; which is a community-based initiative supported with public dollars and working in partnership and collaboration with the State of Oregon and the Office of the Governor.
Frequently Asked Questions
- All Oregon agricultural worker, 18 years of age or older;
- Has had exposure to COVID-19 for which self-quarantining is recommended (a) was in contact with someone that tested positive for COVID-19 in the workplace; (b) tested positive for COVID-19; (c) lived in close proximity to other household members that are COVID-19 positive; or (d) have been contact traced.
- Is practicing self-quarantining; and
- Is seeking health care assistance during the period of self-quarantine.
- For the WRQF, an agricultural worker is an individual currently working for a wage in Oregon in an activity related to agriculture, farming, fishing, treeplanting, tree harvesting, dairy, ranching, food processing, canning, slaughtering, packaging, butchering, or nursery work.
- No. The fund is administered by community-based partners. The program is supported with public dollars and working in collaboration with the State of Oregon and the Office of the Governor.
- The Oregon Worker Relief Fund and the Oregon Worker Quarantine Fund are related funds. They are both administered by the Oregon Worker Relief Coalition. The Oregon Worker Relief Fund (OWRF) provides temporary aid to undocumented immigrants who lost their wage because of the pandemic. The Oregon Worker Quarantine Fund (OWQF) provides temporary aid to agricultural workers who undertake self-quarantining while seeking medical assistance because of a possible COVID-19 exposure. For more information go to www.WorkerRelief.org.
- No. This fund is available for employees not employers; an employer is not required to register and cannot apply for the fund. An employer cannot apply on behalf of an employee.
- All applicants must present a form of identification that has your photo, and should have a mobile phone. Applicants should be prepared to answer questions about their residence, work, household, and the impact of the pandemic on them.
- Yes. The fund is available regardless of federal immigration status.
- For each week of self-quarantine, the fund provides a maximum of $430. An applicant may be eligible for up to two weeks of aid from the quarantine fund per application. For additional self-care quarantine assistance, workers must meet qualifying criteria, to be eligible to reapply. Applications are considered on a case-by-case basis. (First time applicants may be given priority)
- Navigating Community Organization will assist applicants over the phone, by video, or other means provided it is done in compliance with the Governor’s social distancing guidelines. There are 20 Navigating Community Organizations throughout Oregon who can assist in making an application. Applications are processed through the Oregon Worker Relief Coalition generally within 10-14 days.
- No. Beneficiaries must practice self-quarantine and should follow public health recommendations and any individual health care instruction provided by their doctor or medical professional. OHA defines people in quarantine as staying away from other people for a time when they may become sick with an infection, even if they have no symptoms. Individuals who return/or may have been in contact with areas where COVID-19 is widespread in communities and for people who have been in close, prolonged contact with someone ill with COVID-19.
Individuals who return/or may have been in contact with areas where COVID-19 is widespread in communities and for people who have been in close, prolonged contact with someone ill with COVID-19. Quarantine plan includes doing the following for the 14 days after the most recent exposure:
- Checking one’s temperature twice a day.
- Avoiding places where many people gather, including stores, workplaces, and schools.
- Staying off transportation like planes, trains, and buses.
- Contacting one’s healthcare provider promptly if fever, cough, or trouble breathing develop.