California Governor Gavin Newsom said a $52 million funding is eyed for Latinos in the Central Valley area as they have been disproportionately harmed by the spread of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).

Newsom said "strike teams" will be sent to eight counties in Central Valley later this week as the government approves the coronavirus funding for testing, tracing and isolation protocols, the Los Angeles Times reported.

The eight counties targeted, according to Newsom, were San Joaquin, Stanislaus, Merced, Madera, Fresno, Kings and Tulare, and Kern. Coronavirus deaths and infections among Latinos in Central Valley showed wide gaps since Latinos make up a high percentage of residents.

California's Latino Community Hit Hard

"This disease continues to grow in the state of California, it continues to spread, but not evenly," Newsom said. He noted that certain communities and parts of the state are getting stronger impacts of the virus.

Latinos are three times more likely to test positive of the virus more than white people. Thirty-nine percent of the state's population comprised of Latinos, but they make up for 56 percent of all confirmed COVID-19 cases. Nearly 46 percent of the deaths in the state are of Latinos, reported the KTLA 5.

With the coming funding, people can look forward to better testing efforts, better worker safety, support for the local health care systems and giving isolation and quarantine resources to those who test positive of the virus and can't stay at home, detailed the Desert Sun.

Newsom said the funds will come from a grant worth $499 million from the U.S. Center for Disease Control and Prevention, the ABC 7 reported.

The surge in coronavirus cases has hit farmworkers in those most affected areas. This is because they often live in close quarters and transport together to work. They also have little access to healthcare.

Central Valley itself records higher positive COVID-19 tests at 17.7 percent, while the state average is only 7.5 percent.

Hospitals Overwhelmed

Hospitals in the region are filled nearly to capacity at present and intensive care units are mostly holding COVID-19 patients, said Dr. Mark Ghaly, California's health and human services secretary.

Officials said the region still needs more resources even it received five of eight U.S. Department of Defense teams for ICU staffing, the report from Desert Sun said.

The valley has 45 hospitals and 64 percent of them said they are in need of more health care workers to work in all licensed ICU beds and demand a more flexible set of requirements for staffing.

Newsom knew of this demand and said the proposed amount will be helpful to the Central Valley.

The state's local government returned to work Monday after delays in its return from the summer recess due to the coronavirus spread at the start of the month. Newsom is hopeful that the funds they are looking for will be approved soon.

More safeguards to essential workers, who are also mostly made up of Latinos, were also promised by Newsom at a COVID-19 briefing on Friday. He said he will work with California lawmakers on the new legislation.

Newsom admitted that the state did not prepare businesses enough to have safe a reopening and hoped that the new efforts they will put in place can help make up for it.

He said their essential workforce has to be safe for their efforts in fighting COVID-19 to be effective.

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