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‘Housing for Harvest’ program expands to San Luis Obispo County 

Program provides temporary housing to agricultural workers exposed to COVID-19

–The California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) has announced that the counties of Sacramento and San Luis Obispo are the latest to participate in Housing for the Harvest, a program announced by Governor Gavin Newsom in July to provide temporary hotel housing options for farm and food processing employees to self-isolate if they are COVID-19 positive and do not require hospitalization, or have been exposed and cannot properly self-isolate at home. Ten counties are now participating in Housing for the Harvest: Sacramento, San Luis Obispo, Kern, Madera, Kings, Riverside, Tulare, Santa Barbara, Fresno, and San Joaquin.

The state is securing hotel rooms in participating counties, with local governments identifying administrators to manage the program and local community organizations to provide additional services, like meals, wellness checks, and in-language assistance. Local administrators will serve as a point of contact for eligible workers. Local administrators of the program can include a county or city agency, a Native American tribe, a non-profit organization, or a philanthropic organization.

“We are very pleased to welcome Sacramento and San Luis Obispo counties to this program,” said CDFA Secretary Karen Ross. “Housing for the Harvest is an example of how the state and local partners are collaborating creatively to meet the challenges of the pandemic and protect our agricultural workers, their families, and public health.”

Housing for the Harvest will ultimately be made available statewide and provide opt-in housing support for any counties or regions that are interested. California has received FEMA approval for this program during the COVID-19 pandemic and will seek federal reimbursement for 75-percent of hotel costs.

San Luis Obispo County is providing hotel quarantine support through transportation, meals and wellness checks for the Housing for the Harvest Program.

“Due to their unique housing situations, farm and food processing workers ​often have a ​more difficult time self-isolating – a key tool for slowing the spread of this disease. We are proud to partner with the state to be able to help these important members of our community keep their families and coworkers healthy and safe,” said San Luis Obispo County Health Officer Dr. Penny Borenstein.

“We were immediately interested in participating in the state’s Housing for the Harvest program to further protect our community. The state will book hotel rooms and the county will provide important services, such as transportation, meals, and wellness checks for those who need to self-isolate for 14 days. This program not only helps farm and food processing workers, but it also helps our community’s food suppliers in a particularly challenging time,” said San Luis Obispo County Administrative Officer and Emergency Services Director Wade Horton.

Farmworkers and food processing workers in San Luis Obispo County who are in need of these services are urged to call (805) 781-1061 or email EOC-Lodging@co.slo.us.

Please note that personal information gathered through this process will be kept confidential.

If a county or community organization is interested in becoming a regional administrator, they may email cdfa.emergency.response@cdfa.ca.gov.

For more information about the program, click here.

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About the author: News Staff

News staff of the A-Town Daily News wrote and edited this article from local contributors and press releases. Scott Brennan is the publisher of this newspaper and founder of Access Publishing. Connect with him on , Twitter, LinkedIn, or follow his blog. He can be reached at scott@accesspublishing.com.

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