Valley’s First Farmworkers Get Vaccinated – COVID-19 Update For Jan. 29

Jan 29, 2021

In a surprise move this week, Governor Gavin Newsom lifted shelter-in-place orders for our part of the state, even as San Joaquin Valley residents continue to die of COVID-19 by the hundreds each week. The decision came as a surprise to health officials in at least Fresno County, who said they appreciate that case numbers are finally trending in the right direction but warned against reckless behavior that could drive them back up again.

In another milestone this week, Fresno County began vaccinating the Valley’s first farm workers against the virus, through a program that aims to inoculate 3,000 of the laborers in the next few weeks. Though many are wary of the vaccine, many jumped at the opportunity, and the UFW is encouraging of the county’s model.

In this week’s COVID-19 update, we learn how farm workers feel about the opportunity to be vaccinated, featuring excerpts from discussions with Mendota farm worker Melesio Medina, United Farm Workers spokesperson Leydy Rangel, and Fresno County vaccination supervisor Joe Prado.

Meanwhile, here’s a snapshot for Fresno, Kern, Kings, Madera, Mariposa, Merced, and Tulare Counties (note that some numbers may have changed between the interview and publication):

As of Jan. 28:

  • 3,017 total deaths out of 284,224 total cases
  • 1,192 people hospitalized and 258 in ICUs
  • 250 deaths reported in the last week*
  • 1,642 average cases reported daily in last week
  • *this includes a backlog from December in Kings County that was only added to data dashboard this week

As of 1 week previous, Jan. 21:

  • 2,767 total deaths out of 272,727 total cases
  • 1,371 people hospitalized and 258 in ICUs
  • 284 deaths reported in the last week*
  • 2,434 average cases reported daily in last week
  • *this includes a backlog from December in Kings County that was only added to data dashboard this week

As of 4 weeks previous, Dec. 31:

  • 2,055 total deaths out of 214,113 total cases
  • 1,456 people hospitalized and 289 in ICUs
  • 89 deaths reported in the last week
  • 2,603 average cases reported daily in last week

You can always find up-to-date information for your county here.