On Wednesday, February 17, 2021, at approximately 9:00 a.m. PDT, Governor Gavin Newsom visited a vaccination clinic in the Coachella Valley. The Governor has recently visited vaccination sites in Los Angeles, Fresno, San Diego, San Francisco and Santa Clara to highlight the state’s efforts to ramp up vaccinations, which have now topped 6.2 million doses administered.
To kick off the press conference, local leaders including the Mayor of Coachella, the Riverside County Public Health Director, Assemblymember Eduardo Garcia, Congressman Raul Ruiz, M.D., and Supervisor V. Manuel Perez provided introductory remarks. Each speaker offered complimentary comments regarding the Newsom Administration and the Governor’s early and “decisive actions” to address the pandemic. Many offered their statements in both English and Spanish.
More specifically, Assemblymember Eduardo Garcia acknowledged the work of community-based organizations and also thanked Tribal Chairman, Darrell Mike of Twenty Nine Palms Band of Mission Indians, among others. Congressman Ruiz said this is the first time, in recent memory, a governor has visited the city of Coachella. Several speakers noted that farmworkers have continued working throughout the pandemic and have disproportionately been affected by COVID-19. It was also stated that there are fewer resources available to these essential food supply workers.
Consistent with other site visits, Newsom addressed the state's ongoing efforts to ramp up vaccination efforts across the state while at the Sea View Packing facility. The facility supplies and packs the Coachella Valley's renown Medjool dates and other fruits, according to its website. A spokesperson for the governor, conveyed that this is the first farmworker vaccination clinic that Newsom has visited.
Riverside County was the first in the state to begin vaccinating farmworkers through an innovative model-- registering farmworkers in the field for upcoming vaccine pop-ups and working with local organizations to conduct education efforts. In that vein, Newsom spoke about the importance of equity and thanked local officials working to get farmworkers vaccinated.
The Governor also highlighted the state’s progress. The positivity rate has plummeted to 3.5 percent and the case numbers have dropped. He reported that the state is averaging about 200K vaccines per day and ramping up as quick as possible. However, supply continues to be a challenge. The state is expected to receive about 1.3M doses of vaccine next week, up from just shy of 1.2M this week. Federal efforts have increased state supplies, but more is still needed.
The California Department of Public Health (CDPH) has announced the most recent statistics on COVID-19. There is now a total of 3,412,057 (+0.2 percent increase) confirmed positive cases and 47,107 (+0.1 percent) deaths in California. As of February 15th, there have been 46,227,725 tests conducted in California and reported to the California Department of Public Health. A total of 6,262,781 vaccines have been administered. More information regarding the most recent COVID-19 statistics can be found here.
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