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NEWS | May 28, 2020

Oregon Guard helps deliver masks for agricultural workers

By Oregon Military Department

SALEM, Ore. – The Oregon Army National Guard helped hand out 135,000 face coverings to farm managers and producers at the Oregon State Fairgrounds May 27 for use by agriculture and migrant seasonal workers during harvest season.

More than 900,000 face coverings are to be delivered and distributed to workers throughout the state over the next few days.

“The Oregon National Guard is so proud to do our part to ensure the safety of essential workers,” said Brig. Gen. William Prendergast IV, Oregon Army National Guard land component commander. “We are here to help the Oregon Department of Agriculture. It’s definitely a partnership. We are all truly in this together.”

The distribution is a collaborative effort between the Oregon Department of Agriculture, the Oregon State University Extension program and the Oregon National Guard under the direction of Gov. Kate Brown. The goal is to support essential workers throughout the harvest, ensuring their safety and limiting the spread of COVID-19.

“From my perspective, this is a success,” said Jonathan Sandau, special assistant to the director of the Oregon Department of Agriculture. “We appreciate the partnership and support from the OSU extension and the Oregon National Guard.”

Since March, the Oregon National Guard has mobilized more than 200 members to support the COVID-19 response. Citizen-Soldiers have assisted with the logistics and distribution of millions of items of personal protective equipment to all counties, tribes, many long-term care facilities and agricultural workers. The Oregon Guard is part of a nationwide force of almost 46,000 Guard members supporting COVID-19 response efforts.



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