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OHA Face Mask Guidance for Outdoors

Oregon Health Authority (OHA) has updated their mask guidance. The difference between the new guidance, dated May 11th, and the version released last week dated April 29th is the provisions for outdoor work WITHOUT a mask IF vaccinated. See guidance here (below). The relevant section reads:

Statewide, masks, face coverings or face shields are required to be worn by all individuals at all times unless the individual:

  • Is outdoors and is fully vaccinated. This exception DOES NOT apply:
    • In crowded areas or at large gatherings where it is difficult to maintain physical distance including but not limited to event areas, venues and large social gatherings like parades, graduation ceremonies or wedding receptions, in which case a mask, or face covering or face shield must be worn.

OHA updated Mask Guidance for May 11, 2021



OSHA Releases Permanent Rule

OR-OSHA has published the permanent rules implementing workplace protection for COVID-19. As a reminder, the Permanent Rules replace the Temporary Rules which expired on Tuesday, May 4th and apply to ALL employers in Oregon. Our Dalton Advocacy team has been actively involved in the rulemaking process, flagging concerns with proposed expansion by labor and urging the agency to adopt a clear sunset tied to the Governors Executive Order. The rules do not contain a repeal date but do note that the agency will review them every two months beginning in July to discuss partial/complete repeal.

Review the OSHA summary of the rules here. Text of rules here.

The rules are effective May 4th (essentially ensuring no gap in your compliance with the current Temporary Rules on the books) with a delayed effective date of June 6th for the new provisions relating to ventilation, transportation, employee notification, and the PPE supply/crisis management plan requirements and May 17th for provisions related to respiratory protection for direct patient care.

Highlight of how these rules differ from the Temporary Rule:

  • Clarifies that if an employer already conducted a risk assessment and completed an infection control plan under the temporary rules, they do not need to do so again under the permanent rules.
  • Updates the cleaning and sanitization requirements to be consistent with new CDC guidance that such cleaning need only be done once a day. This is particularly helpful for businesses that run 24-hour operations.
  • Directs employers to minimize employees traveling together in vehicles, where practical. Where not practical, employees must wear face coverings and outside air flow in vehicles should be optimized.
  • Employers with 10 or more employees must attest that HVAC systems are functioning consistent with rule requirements.
  • When employees must be absent from the workplace to quarantine because of an exposure, employers must notify them of their rights to return and encourage information to be shared of any paid leave benefits provided by the employer.
    • Note: under new guidance from OHA individuals who are fully vaccinated and asymptomatic do not have to quarantine after an exposure.




Employer Toolkit: COVID-19 Vaccinations

The Oregon Health Authority thanks you for helping your employees get vaccinated against COVID-19. Your partnership will help save lives. Please feel free to customize this content for the workers you reach. You are an important part of the state’s effort to make sure workers have accurate information about where they can go for a vaccine.

If you have questions about this toolkit, please reach out to the OHA Health Information Center at COVID.19@dhsoha.state.or.us.

Help Employees Get the COVID-19 Vaccination



USDA ANNOUNCES ADDITIONAL CFAP ASSISTANCE

USDA will move forward with $20 per acre payments for price-trigger crops outlined in the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program (CFAP) round three approved under the December appropriations bill with checks going out starting in April.


USDA announced additional CFAP assistance for producers of eligible crops identified as CFAP 2 flat-rate or price-trigger crops beginning in April. This includes alfalfa, corn, cotton, hemp, peanuts, rice, sorghum, soybeans, sugar beets and wheat, among other crops. FSA will automatically issue payments to eligible price trigger and flat-rate crop producers based on the eligible acres included on their CFAP 2 applications. Eligible producers do not need to submit a new CFAP 2 application. For a list of all eligible row-crops, visit farmers.gov/cfap. USDA estimates additional payments of more than $4.5 billion to more than 560,000 producers, according to the mandated formula.

The new initiative—USDA Pandemic Assistance for Producers—will reach a broader set of producers than in previous COVID-19 aid programs. The Department will also develop rules for new programs that will put a greater emphasis on outreach to small and socially disadvantaged producers, specialty crop and organic producers, timber harvesters, as well as provide support for the food supply chain and producers of renewable fuel, among others. Existing programs like the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program (CFAP) will fall within the new initiative and, where statutory authority allows, will be refined to better address the needs of producers.


NAWG and OWGL had advocated for the inclusion of wheat in CFAP payments. OWGL is pleased to see the release of these additional funds to provide critical resources for our producers.

Part 1: Investing $6 Billion to Expand Help & Assistance to More Producers

Part 2: Adding $500 Million of New Funding to Existing Programs

Part 3: Carrying Out Formula Payments under CFAP 1, CFAP 2, CFAP AA

Part 4: Reopening CFAP 2 Sign-Up to Improve Access & Outreach to Underserved Producers


Read the full press release here.


OSHA COVID Rules

OR-OSHA is moving forward with permanent rules to require businesses to enforce COVID-19 protections. The rules will replace the current temporary COVID-19 rules, although they currently include a slew of new mandates that will come into effect 14-months into the pandemic! At a minimum, OR-OSHA needs to provide employers with certainty that these rules will not extend beyond the pandemic.


Final OSHA Temporary COVID Rules were released and took effect on November 16, 2020 and remain in effect until May 4, 2021 unless revised or repealed. The rules apply to ‘all workplaces and workers subject to Oregon OSHA’s jurisdiction.’

Additional requirements to note:

  • Employee Notification on COVID-19 is required. Available here as an example;
  • Employers must post the OSHA notice. Available here to print;
  • Risk Exposure Assessment required; Risk Assessment: HERE
  • Infection Control Plan required; Infection control plan: HERE
    *The Infection Control Plan fillable word doc is NOW online here!
  • Employee training must be completed
  • Ventilation Requirements (all workplaces)

View the Temporary Rules HERE.

View workplace chart for application HERE.


Affected by the ‘freeze’ in your ability to meet the compliance deadlines? OSHA acknowledges a de facto “grace period” for employers who have been working to comply but have not yet completed that work. See more information here.

OR-OSHA COVID-19 Training Materials Released

OR-OSHA has released an online interactive education course designed to help employers meet four of the 10 training requirements found in their COVID-19 rules. The course is 1-hour course. Find English Course and Spanish Course.


You can also download the presentation as a PowerPoint (scroll to bottom of page). While not required, OR-OSHA also included a model ‘training verification form’ for employees.



NAWG Fact Sheet - CFAP 2

On Friday, September 18, 2020, USDA Secretary Perdue announced that assistance would be provided to farmers economically impacted by COVID-19 through the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program 2 (CFAP 2) utilizing funds through the Commodity Credit Corporation (CCC) and the CARES Act. USDA’s press release announcing the program can be found here. NAWG’s press release on the announcement can be found here. Additional details about assistance for row crops can be found here.

Beginning on Monday, September 21, 2020, through December 11, 2020, farmers will be able to sign up through this link.

Fact sheet here!
USDA Tool Kit here.
Frequently Asked Questions can be found here.



COVID-19 Agriculture Response Protocol

There is nothing we take more seriously than the health of our employees. Use the toolkit for resources to assist in implementing mitigation measures to reduce the spread of COVID-19. Use the playbook to understand the approach to a coordinated response when one or more cases of COVID-19 are identified at an agricultural operation.

COVID Farm Toolkit

Ag & Farm Playbook



Crop Insurance Flexibility

The Risk Management Agency announced additional COVID-related flexibilities to the federal crop insurance program. These flexibilities include interest accrual on premium payments and administrative fees to be waived. Read more about it here.

The Farm Service Agency recently waived late file fees for acreage reports and discussed extending deadlines. Read more about it here.

RMA issued a notice authorizing self-certification on replant inspections and waiving the witness signature requirement for approval of Assignments of Indemnity through July 15, 2020. Regarding replant self-certification, RMA is authorizing AIPs to allow such for up to 100 gross acres (before considering share) per unit in lieu of 50 acres. Wheat not covered by the Winter Coverage Endorsement (both initially planted winter and spring crops) is eligible.



Temporary Guidance on Respiratory Protection

EPA released temporary guidance on respiratory protection requirements for agricultural pesticide handlers, recognizing the shortage of PPA. The temporary guidance outlines approaches to address the unavailability of required respiratory protection and respiratory fit testing that should first be exhausted before considering any alternative options.

Read the guidance and learn more about EPA’s Worker Protection Standard HERE.


PPP Loans, EIDL Advances, SBA Loan Subsidies

PPP Loans, EIDL Advances, SBA Loan Subsidies Not Subject to CAT TAX
The Oregon Department of Revenue has determined that certain federal assistance to businesses under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act is not commercial activity under Oregon statute and will not be subject to the Corporate Activity Tax. The exempt assistance includes forgiven Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans, Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) emergency advances, and Small Business Administration (SBA) loan subsidies. More information can be found in the Beyond the FAQ section of the CAT page on the department's website.



Department of Revenue CAT Tax Decisions

Oregon Department of Revenue took steps to provide some relief to small businesses. DOR will not require a quarterly filing/payment today from a business who is not expected to have more than $10,000 in annual tax liability (this was previously $5,000 and should increase the quarterly waiver threshold to businesses with approximately $2M in gross receipts – up from $1M).

DOR will waive penalties for underestimated quarterly payments or for not making a quarterly payment, if the business does not have the financial ability to make the estimated payment. More information on the DOR CAT website here.


Stay Home, Stay Healthy - Gov. Brown

Important Highlights:

  • The order does not include agriculture in the business closure requirements.
  • The order delegates future decisions to close businesses to OHA, with required Governor approval.
  • Businesses able to remain open through this order are required to designate an employee or officer to establish, implement and enforce social distancing politics consistent with guidance from OHA.

VIEW EXECUTIVE ORDER 20-12

FAQ Emergency Sick Leave