Governor Gavin Newsom Announces New Program Modeled After Grower Shipper Association's Farm Worker Quarantine Housing
- by Anne Allen
CALIFORNIA - On July 24, California Governor Gavin Newsom announced plans to implement a program popularized by the Grower Shipper Association (GSA). The program, designed as a quarantined housing program for farm workers, protects the health of farm workers as well as their families and housemates.
"We thank Governor Newsom for his acknowledgement and praise for GSA's housing program," says Chris Valadez, GSA President. "We all must continue to work diligently to protect essential employees who are integral to supplying food to consumers and are invaluable to growing, nurturing, and harvesting fruits and vegetables.”
GSA began its program in April after recognizing the need to provide safe and comfortable housing for workers who are symptomatic, tested positive for COVID-19, or have been exposed to the virus, a press release noted.
GSA provides all farm workers it houses with daily food deliveries and other necessities as well as regular health checks coordinated through Salinas Valley Memorial Hospital.
In his announcement, Newsom stated that the GSA and the farming community have done "an incredible job in this state supporting ag workers and farm workers. I want to thank the ag industry who have been very supportive of that program." Newsom went on to refer to the plan as a "Housing and Harvest" partnership which will provide temporary housing for ag workers throughout other farming regions in the state. "We are going to expand assets and provide more support,” he concluded.
GSA has been working tirelessly to support ag workers, which has included a variety of other unique programs such as: partnering with local hospitals to provide onsite COVID-19 prevention training for agricultural employees, developing a system for expedited COVID-19 test results for farm workers in conjunction with Clinica de Salud del Valle de Salinas (CSVS), and securing and distributing over a million face masks.
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