CDC Guidance on Extended Use of Disposable N95 Masks

Several growers have contacted CAWG with concerns that limited availability of N95 respirators may disrupt necessary, time sensitive vineyard operations. We are responding to these concerns in two ways: 1) working with CDFA to aid the supply of N95 masks to agricultural operators, without compromising critical healthcare priorities, and 2) providing you with guidance obtained from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) on reuse of N95 masks/respirators.

The CDC issued Recommended Guidance for Extended Use and Limited Reuse of N95 Filtering Facepiece Respirators in Healthcare Settings. While CDC’s guidance is not intended for agricultural settings, it is clear that the safe reuse of N95 masks is possible, if carefully managed.

To the extent you wish to extend the useful life of the N95 mask, where use of the mask is a voluntary option for your workers, then you may want to consider CDC’s guidance. CAWG recrafted CDC’s guidance into a document for readability and applicability in the agricultural setting. You can locate that document HERE . However, the guidance does not constitute a recommendation from CAWG.

To the extent use of the N95 mask is required for pest control activities, then CAWG recommends you make your county agricultural commissioner aware that you are using CDC’s guidance for reuse of N95 masks.

COVID-19 Employment Law & Agriculture Business

During this pandemic, federal, state and local governments have acted decisively to prevent the spread of COVID-19. The goal of preventing the spread of the virus has raised a multitude of difficult challenges and questions for agricultural employers, like you. CAWG is hard at work developing new tools and information to help our industry get through these challenging times.

An ongoing issue facing growers is effectively protecting the health and wellbeing of workers while continuing to farm. The food and agriculture sector is part of the nation's critical infrastructure and growers are allowed to continue ag operations. However, this creates some unique situations.  CAWG has worked with the law firm of Fisher Phillips, LLP (an associate member of CAWG) to produce a document that answers many labor-related questions that may arise as the state and federal government responds to the COVID-9 pandemic.  We hope this document is helpful to you and your workers. 

As things progress, we will be providing additional information in the days and weeks ahead. 

Please view CAWG as a resource, and please stay healthy.

>> Fisher Phillips COVID-19 Employment Law Document

Immediate and Critical Supply Chain Needs - SURVEY
We know many of you have either experienced supply disruptions or you anticipate disruptions occurring for critically important supplies necessary to continue your operations. We are well aware of the challenges growers face in obtaining personal protective equipment (PPE) and sanitizers for workers.
CAWG is working with the California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) to gather data on supply chain disruptions affecting winegrape growers. CDFA is working with other state agencies to identify supply chain disruptions and assist affected agricultural producers, with a focus on the most pressing needs for PPE and cleaning/sanitizing materials.
CAWG is eager to assist CDFA in its efforts. For that reason, we ask you to use our survey to describe your current or anticipated supply shortfalls that you believe will not be resolved under current conditions, using existing suppliers.
It’s important that you provide us with your company name and the contact person at your company; however, we will not provide CDFA with names of any companies that respond to this survey, unless we have your permission to share that information.