Thursday, September 24, 2020
Sept. 24, 2020

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Washington farms given masks for workers to combat smoke


MOUNT VERNON, Wash. — The Skagit County Department of Emergency Management in northwest Washington state has provided about 2,000 N95 masks to protect agricultural workers amid the widespread wildfires, officials said.

Thick smoke has made the air quality unhealthy and prompted orders for citizens to stay home as much as possible.

The smoke is expected to linger until at least Thursday, the Skagit Valley Herald reported, but area farmers cannot halt all of their outdoor work.

Farmers and farm workers were already required to wear face coverings because of the coronavirus, but cloth masks do little to protect from wildfire pollutants, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Masks like the N95 can protect against harmful particles found in smoke.