CA's farmworkers risk COVID-19 to eat

Video Credit: Reuters - Politics - Duration: 02:29s - Published
CA's farmworkers risk COVID-19 to eat

CA's farmworkers risk COVID-19 to eat

Facing a devastating number of coronavirus cases and deaths in the California farming community, farmworkers say their hands are tied because without work, they can't eat.

Gavino Garay has more.

The harsh choice farmworkers in California's Coachella Valley face is brutally simple: staying home means no food on the table.

Jorge Sanches, who has worked in the fields of Coachella Valley for 17 years, spells out the predicament for him and so many of his coworkers.

"We work out of necessity.

One has to work, because if we don't work, we don't eat" Farmerworkers know the risks of continuing to work during a pandemic: contracting COVID-19 and taking it home to their families But in an industry where most don't have sick leave, they can't afford the time off.

The daughter of a farmworker, Maria Palomares, is getting tested as a precautionary measure.

She spells out the harsh reality for so many in that industry: "They don't have, some don't even have health insurance and all these other resources to keep them healthy." Jose Luis Palomares is getting tested for covid again, due to the fact that he works in close proximity to others.

His main concern is his family's health.

"We are concerned for our children and our family, brothers, nephews that this pandemic is spreading." Dr. Raul Ruiz, a congressman representing California's 36th District, told Reuters agricultural workers must be protected, so he's helping bring pop-up testing to workers so they can make informed decisions.

"In order for us to stop this pandemic, we need to focus on the highest risk individuals and currently, as you can see in the farmworker community, with the devastating rates of infection and deaths...That is not being done.

And so, we need to help the more vulnerable populations, the ones that disproportionately are getting infected and that are dying from this disease." The region is the fourth most populous county in California and has recorded the second highest number of cases - 44,679 - and 879 deaths... but without additional healthcare benefits, or proper social distancing and precautions, the number of infected farmworkers who live hand to mouth... could explode.

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Tweets about this


jgramseyer RT @RepRaulRuizMD: Farmworkers working through this pandemic to put food on our tables are at high risk of getting COVID-19 and dying from… 2 hours ago


💙🌊BE SAFE ALL!☮️ As COVID-19 pandemic continues, farmworkers remain on the job—and at risk 2 hours ago


ProInfrastructure RT @RRiverkeeper: California farmworkers labor to feed America despite COVID-19, heat, smoke & unsafe air quality. Even before the pandemic… 7 hours ago


Janet's Good News As COVID-19 pandemic continues, farmworkers remain on the job—and at risk 8 hours ago


Michelene Berkey As COVID-19 pandemic continues, farmworkers remain on the job—and at risk 13 hours ago


Riki🌈🇨🇦🇺🇸🇩🇰🏴󠁧󠁢󠁳󠁣󠁴󠁿 As COVID-19 pandemic continues, farmworkers remain on the job—and at risk 17 hours ago

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