August 3, 2020

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.

The Problem

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 Need

  • 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.

The Solution

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.