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COVID-19 & Wildfires

A picture of a conflagration that affected California in 2021. Orange fire is seen for miles and smoke covers the sky. Photo by Michael Held on Unsplash

The Connection and What You Need to Know


California has been the victim of several wildfires this fall — most recently the Silverado and Blue Ridge wildfires around Orange County.


As businesses shift to operating outdoors, what does this mean for employees?



Will COVID-19 Cloth Masks Keep You Safe?

Not all particles are alike. Cloth facemasks that help block respiratory droplets do not block wildfire smoke particles.


Keep your businesses safe by checking the Air Quality in your area.


A wide variety of smartphone apps and websites are available, however, the CDC recommends Air Now. Visit Air Now to see the latest Air Quality results in your part of California.



Smoke Exposure vs. COVID-19: How are the symptoms different?

Poor air quality — like what results from wildfires — can cause health concerns.

Employees that develop a dry cough, or have difficulty breathing, may have symptoms of smoke exposure — not COVID-19.


To help determine coronavirus symptoms, the CDC has a breadth of information available, including a COVID-19 Self-Checker, located here.


Wildfire smoke comes with certain risks. Employees that work outdoors should remain cautious and stay aware of best practices. At Preferred Employers Insurance, a Berkley company, we help keep employees safe by providing safety tools and resources for our customers. Contact us at (888) 472–9001 to see why we are the preferred workers’ compensation solution for California businesses.




Products and services are provided by one or more insurance company subsidiaries of W. R. Berkley Corporation. Not all products and services are available in every jurisdiction, and the precise coverage afforded by any insurer is subject to the actual terms and conditions of the policies as issued.

Injury and illness prevention is the responsibility of your Company’s management. Our surveys are intended only to assist you in your safety activity and should not be construed to be comprehensive reports disclosing every loss-producing condition which may arise. Any recommendations submitted were developed as a result of conditions observed during our recent visit. They do not necessarily include every loss potential, statute violation, or exception to good practice.




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