Coronavirus in Oklahoma: Nation's truck delivery network under strain of increased risk of pandemic

The company is now procuring masks and has given employees a £2 an hour increase in recognition of their increased risk at work. Love's also has donated £100,000 to the St. Christopher Truckers Development and Relief Fund, which assists professional drivers who can't work due to illness or injury, which could be more prevalent during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Wharton said Love's has kept every travel center open, even in New York, though a few are open with reduced operations with restaurants closed overnight and, at a minimum, still pumping diesel fuel for trucks. The company, however, does share concerns expressed by the American Trucking Association about state and local emergency declarations in some areas that might limit or cut off operations at some truck stops. The association reported some localities are enforcing occupancy limits of as few as five to 10 people, including employees, resulting in drivers waiting in long lines to enter nearly empty truck stops to purchase food and use restrooms and showers.

In some cases, caps placed by local governments tighter than those recommended by the CDC are resulting in reports of what normally would be a 20-minute stop for truck drivers extending into two-hour waits. "The professional driver's ability to deliver essential products to Americans from coast to coast in a timely manner is extremely important in the fight against COVID-19," said Frank Love, co-CEO Love's Travel Stops. "Due to some state and local mandates, we have experienced issues that have created long delays for these professionals that have put their deliveries at risk." Obenhaus, meanwhile, is continuing to drive freight across the eastern half of the country, but for how long, he's not sure.

"I've got people, my friends and family, who don't want me out here," Obenhaus said. "Everyday we're seeing more and more people getting this who are younger.

I can't get over how someone not on prescriptions, healthy, in their 30s and 40s, and they get this and they're dead."

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