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EDMUND G. BROWN JR.
Governor

State of California—Health and Human Services Agency
California Department of Public Health


May 28, 2024


TO:
Farm Owners and Organizations Supporting Farmworkers

SUBJECT:
How to Request Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) for Farmworkers to Protect Against Avian Influenza ("Bird Flu")

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How to Request Personal Protective Equiment (PPE) for Farmworkers to Protect Against Avian Influenza (HPAI H5N1) – also known as Bird Flu 

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As recommended by the federal Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) to protect against bird flu, the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) and the California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) are working together to support a one-time distribution of​ personal protective equipment (PPE) for dairy farmworkers and others who handle raw milk, as well as slaughterhouse and poultry farm workers. Farms, businesses, and organizations that employ or serve dairy farmworkers, workers who handle raw milk, and slaughterhouse and poultry workers can order a one-time supply of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), including the following:​​

  • Respirators (Disposable N95 Respirators or Powered Air Purifying Respirators [PAPRs], NIOSH-Approved) 

  • Gloves  

  • Goggles 

  • Face Shields  

  • Bouffant caps ​​

Follow these four steps to request PPE from local or state public health stockpiles to protect farmworkers against bird flu: 

Please refer to the following informational reference documents to help identify the PPE you would like to order: 

Voluntary use of a respirator is acceptable when there are no confirmed occupational exposures to bird flu or other ATD-Zoonotic diseases. Respirator use should be in the context of the employer’s respiratory protection program in accordance with the CalOSHA Respiratory Protection and Aerosol Transmissible Diseases (ATD) - Zoonotic Standards. Respirators and other PPE must be provided and worn when employees work directly or closely with animals or products that are known or suspected to be infected with H5N1, with their excretions, and other materials the animal has come in contact with. Staff that need to wear respirators must be medically cleared, trained, and fit-tested for respirator use.   

Step 1 - Identify the need: 

  1. Do you have dairy farmworkers or others who handle raw milk, slaughterhouse workers, and/or poultry farm workers at your facility?  

  2. How many employees are in regular contact with farm animals, milk, or egg products at your facility? 

  3. How many of the above PPE items would you need to protect your employees for 30 days? 

Step 2 – Order supplies: 

To place your PPE order, please have one representative from your farm reach out to your local Medical Health Operational Area Coordinator (MHOAC). The contact list for the MHOAC program is here: Medical Health Operational Area Coordinator (MHOAC) system. Please also reach out to your local public health department if you have any questions or concerns about bird flu. The deadline for ordering is July 9, 2024.  

NOTE: PPE is intended for immediate use and protection to give time to facilities to obtain and distribute their own PPE. PPE cannot be returned to CDPH.  

Step 3 – Provide the following information to the MHOAC program: 

  • Name and shipping address for your facility. 

  • Number of employees in need of PPE at your facility. 

  • Total amount of PPE needed to protect your employees for 30 days: 

    • Number of PAPRs 

    • Number of N95s 

    • Number of gloves 

    • Number of goggles 

    • Number of face shields 

    • Number​​​ of bouffant caps 

  • Contact information including phone and email. 

Step 4 – Stay in contact with your MHOAC  

Let them know once you have received your PPE. Immediately advise the MHOAC if you have further needs and/or potential issues relating to Avian Influenza. ​

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