The Grower-Shipper Association Announces Expansion of COVID-19 Prevention Program to Yuma
SALINAS, CA - As essential workers and at-risk consumers begin to receive the vaccine for COVID-19, it seems we may be able to soon abandon the new normal that many of us have adopted. In an attempt to continue reducing the severity of the pandemic, the Grower-Shipper Association of Central California (GSA) has announced the extension of its COVID-19 prevention training program for food facility and farm employees.
“As we have learned over the last several months and while we await the availability of the vaccine, prevention training, adequate testing, and effective contact tracing combined with isolation alternatives through quarantined housing are needed to target the spread of this virus,” said GSA President Christopher Valadez. “Bringing these programs to the desert growing region was a priority for GSA members to protect the farmworkers who are essential to our industry and provide a consistent supply of healthy foods to consumers.”
The program, which works in cooperation with the Regional Center for Border Health clinic, brings health professionals to worksites to offer multi-lingual information on preventing the spread of the virus on the job and at home, as well as the safety and availability of the vaccines, a press release revealed. The program is a replication of one of its rollouts in Salinas Valley, and is aimed toward helping farmers during the winter months.
“This program was very popular among both employers and employees throughout last spring and summer and we are fortunate to bring this to the Yuma growing region, where many of our members have farms and operations during the winter months,” Valadez explained.
GSA has also developed a quarantined housing program and virus testing for farmworkers in the region, which became the model of California Governor Gavin Newsom’s “Housing for Harvest” program. The housing provides meals and necessities daily, on top of health checks for workers who may have been exposed to the virus.
For more information on the prevention training, expedited employee testing, or housing, GSA encourages farmers to contact Christopher Valadez.
As we begin to approach normalcy for the first time in a long time, effective prevention is the only way we can be sure to get there, and GSA is making it easier.
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