Free temporary housing available for Merced County ag workers exposed to COVID-19

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- Merced County is now offering free temporary housing to help farmworkers and food processors who've contracted or been exposed to COVID-19 self-isolate.

The county is using funding provided by the state and the federal government for their Healthy Harvest Home program, similar to a program set up by California designed to seclude farmworkers and slow the spread of the virus at agricultural workplaces.

Hotel rooms will be available for those who cannot isolate at home, as well as daily meals and wellness checks.

"Our farmworkers and food processing workers are vital to the continuity of our nation's food supply and have continued working through the pandemic. We must protect these essential workers, their families, and their coworkers," Merced County's health officer, Dr. Salvador Sandoval, said in a press release.

Workers must be employed with a business in the agricultural or food processing industries to qualify for the program.

The Merced County Human Services Agency, the county's department of public health and community organizations are supporting the effort.

For more information on the program, call 209-381-1180.
Copyright © 2020 KFSN-TV. All Rights Reserved.