By Pedro Hernandez
Two months ago, many of us could have never imagined the impact that COVID-19 otherwise known as the Coronavirus would have on the world. As of March 23rd there have been 286,932 reported cases worldwide with 11,904 reported deaths. Of these numbers, California has a reported 1,247 confirmed cases with 24 deaths. Although the San Joaquin Valley has a relatively small number compared to the rest of the state, Tulare County has the highest number of positive detections currently at sixteen residents with zero related deaths at this point in time.
Although some estimates claim a treatment is one year away, since there is not a cure developed at this point health professionals recommend “social distancing”, limiting outside exposure, and maintaining a sterile living environment through disinfection or thoroughly washing hands for at least 20 seconds.
To be proactive in reducing community spread of Coronavirus, Governor Newsom has issued a statewide “Shelter-at-home” Executive Order effectively closing down “non-essential” businesses and venues in order to halt the spread of coronavirus to Californians. Due to the fact that California has been one of the regions in the United States that has been most impacted, the Governor estimated that nearly 50% of the population can become infected by the Coronavirus if exposure is not aggressively halted.
Even though Governor Newsom’s Executive Order covers the entire state, there are many workers in 16 “critical infrastructure” areas that must continue to work that includes some government workers, water system operators, and farmworkers. As a result, these workers must continue to work and as a result have a higher risk of exposure. Many social justice organizations and labor unions are currently working to ensure these important workers are as protected. However, until labor protections are expanded, we are including graphics from Tulare County Health and Human Services Agency in order to clarify what activities are allowed under the statewide “shelter-at-home” order. We hope this may inform your daily activities to create the safest environment for families and people who must continue working in open conditions.