9/24/20 A COVID-19 relief package for California’s farmworkers landed on Governor Gavin Newsom’s desk last week. Legislators describe the bill as the first of its kind, and it addresses a wide array of issues, from workplace enforcement of COVID-19 guidance to the expansion of rural telehealth services across the state. But, as the novel coronavirus continues to tear through farmworker communities, such measures may not be enough.
Interviews with farmworkers throughout the state reveal a safety net stretched to the limit: Desperate parents are calling relief and advocacy groups for basic needs like diapers for their babies, quarantined farmworkers sick with COVID-19 are relying on colleagues for deliveries of food and other supplies, and some workers have lost their jobs after calling for better safety measures in the fields and packing plants where they work.

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