FRESNO, Calif. (KERO) — Governor Gavin Newsom was joined by actor and comedian George Lopez to discuss the importance of getting farm and agriculture workers vaccinated quickly.
On Friday, Gov. Gavin Newsom visited Fresno County to discuss the state's plans to bring more COVID-19 vaccines to the Central Valley. This is the second time he has made his way to the Central Valley following his visit to Arvin Monday.
Newsom was introduced by actor and comedian George Lopez, who said he traveled to the Central Valley in an effort to bring more attention to the importance of vaccinating farm and ag workers. He said everyone should be concerned with keeping those who handle the food and produce we eat safe.
During a press briefing in Arvin, Newsom announced that approximately 34,000 COVID-19 vaccines would be arriving in Central California this week. He said the state would be reallocating thousands of doses to help vaccinate more farmworkers. On Friday he announced the state is expecting 380,000 doses of the new Johnson & Johnson vaccine as early as next week.
As far as reopening the state, Newsom said the state is already starting to reopen. He said five counties have moved from the Purple to Red Tier and eight other counties are projected to move in the next week or two.
"There is a bright light at the end of the tunnel," Newsom said.
Newsom said the difference in cases and the state's positivity rate between now and a month ago highlights the improvement across the state. He said as of Friday the state reported 5,400 cases with a positivity rate of 2.7%. A month ago the state reported around 17,000 cases and a positivity rate of 7.9%, according to Newsom.
Newsom also announced that 337 community-based organizations have partnered with the state to provide $52.7 million towards providing information and education about the COVID-19 vaccine. California released a new plan Thursday outlining how the state will allocate vaccines to education workers.
On Thursday, Newsom's office released an overview showing how those vaccines would be distributed. Each week, the state will provide doses to county offices of education for distribution. Teachers and other education workers will get single-use codes to make expedited appointments online.
"We are one of the first states in America to prioritize our teachers, and our cafeteria workers, bus drivers, and food workers, our educators, to prioritize them in terms of vaccine allocation," Newsom said. "With all of that, I would hope and expect, this is my opinion, that we will reopen for in-person instruction, TK to 2 and 3 to 6 as a top priority."