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Humboldt Health Alert

Posted on: March 11, 2021

Mar. 11, 2021 - Estimated 10,000 Food and Ag Sector Workers Move Toward Vaccination

707-441-5000 ; covidinfo@co.humboldt.ca.us ; Monday-Friday 8am to 5pm

The first vaccination clinic for workers in the food and agriculture sector is scheduled for next week. This sector is estimated to include 10,000 local employees in workplaces ranging from grocery stores to dairy farms, and vaccination is expected to take months due to lack of vaccine availability. 

Humboldt County Public Health is partnering with another approved vaccinator to launch the first mobile clinic for this sector, which is offered by invitation only and will take place at a large-scale agricultural production facility on Friday, March 19. 

Public Health will prioritize facilities at highest risk of a COVID-19 outbreak, local facilities where widespread transmission has already occurred, and settings known to be higher risk for transmission like meat, dairy and seafood producers. Public Health will coordinate clinics at larger production facilities, and some locations with fewer employees will be invited to those clinics. Workers in this sector will also be invited to mass vaccination clinics as vaccine supplies allow. 

Vaccination priorities are set by the State of California, and the ability to vaccinate additional groups remains strictly limited by available supply. Without a significant increase in weekly allocation, it will be months before Humboldt County will have enough doses to vaccinate everyone in this sector.  

The state continues to open industry sectors and age groups with estimated populations at rates that far exceed the doses it’s providing. After opening vaccination to locals 65 and over this week, the state plans to open to those ages 16-64 with certain medical conditions next week and add workers in the transportation sector to Phase 1B soon.  

According to the California Department of Public Health (https://covid19.ca.gov/essential-workforce/), the food and agriculture sector includes the following:

  1. “Workers supporting groceries, pharmacies, convenience stores, and other retail that sells food or beverage products, and animal/pet food, retail customer support service, information technology support staff, for online orders, pickup/takeout or delivery.
  2. Workers supporting restaurant carry-out and quick serve food operations, including food preparation, carry-out and delivery food employees.
  3. Food manufacturer employees and their supplier employees to include those employed in food ingredient production and processing facilities; aquaculture and seafood harvesting facilities; livestock, poultry, seafood slaughter facilities; pet and animal feed processing facilities; human food facilities producing by-products for animal food; beverage production facilities; and the production of food packaging, including recycling operations and processing.
  4. Farmers, farm and ranch workers, and agribusiness support services to include those employed in auction and sales; grain and oilseed handling, storage, processing and distribution; animal food, feed, and ingredient production, packaging, and distribution; manufacturing, packaging, and distribution of veterinary drugs; truck delivery and transport.
  5. Farmers, farm and ranch workers, support service workers and their supplier employees producing food supply domestically and for export to include those engaged in raising, cultivating, harvesting, packing, storing, or delivering to storage or to market or to a carrier for transportation to market any agricultural or horticultural commodity for human consumption; those engaged in producing and harvesting field crops; cannabis growers; agricultural and commodity inspection; fuel ethanol facilities; storage facilities; biodiesel and renewable diesel facilities; and other agricultural inputs
  6. Employees and firms supporting food, feed, and beverage distribution and ingredients used in these products including warehouse workers, vendor-managed inventory controllers, and blockchain managers.
  7. Workers supporting the sanitation of all food manufacturing processes and operations from wholesale to retail.
  8. Workers supporting the growth and distribution of plants and associated products for home gardens. 
  9. Workers in cafeterias used to feed workers, particularly worker populations sheltered against COVID-19
  10. Workers in animal diagnostic and food testing laboratories 
  11. Workers essential for assistance programs and government payments
  12. Government, private, and non-governmental organizations’ workers essential for food assistance programs (including school lunch programs) and government payments.
  13. Employees of companies engaged in the production, storage, transport, and distribution of chemicals; medicines, including cannabis; vaccines; and other substances used by the food and agriculture industry, including seeds, pesticides, herbicides, fertilizers, minerals, enrichments, and other agricultural production aids.
  14. Animal agriculture workers to include those employed in veterinary health (including those involved in supporting emergency veterinary or livestock services); raising of animals for food; animal production operations; livestock markets; slaughter and packing plants, manufacturers, renderers, and associated regulatory and government workforce. 
  15. Transportation supporting animal agricultural industries, including movement of animal medical and reproductive supplies and material, animal vaccines, animal drugs, feed ingredients, feed, and bedding, live animals, animal medical materials; transportation of deceased animals for disposal; and associated regulatory and government workforce
  16. Workers who support sawmills and the manufacture and distribution of fiber and forest products, including, but not limited to timber, paper, and other wood and fiber products
  17. Employees engaged in the manufacture and maintenance of equipment and other infrastructure necessary to agricultural production and distribution
  18. Workers at animal care facilities that provide food, shelter, veterinary and/or routine care and other necessities of life for animals.”

This sector additionally includes:

  • Any employee working in a restaurant to the extent not described in the food and agriculture sector above
  • Veterinary services employees
  • Medical cannabis workers.

Public Health will continue to request 100% of the vaccine offered by the state and use every dose it’s allocated on a weekly basis. 

9 New Cases Reported Today 

A total of 3,335 Humboldt County residents have tested positive for COVID-19 after nine new cases were reported today. 

County Allotted 5,140 Vaccine Doses for Next Week  

Humboldt County is set to receive 5,140 doses of COVID-19 vaccine for next week. Of those, 2,800 are Moderna and 2,340 are Pfizer. The county will not receive any doses of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine next week. 

For the most recent COVID-19 information, visit cdc.gov or cdph.ca.gov. Local information is available at humboldtgov.org or during business hours by contacting covidinfo@co.humboldt.ca.us or calling 707-441-5000. 

Some Safeway and CVS Pharmacy locations are offering COVID-19 vaccination appointments in partnership with the federal government. Learn who is eligible for vaccination and sign up for an appointment at one of these locations by clicking on the links below.

Safeway: https://www.mhealthappointments.com/covidappt

CVS Pharmacy: https://www.cvs.com/immunizations/covid-19-vaccine?icid=cvs-home-hero1-link2-coronavirus-vaccine


Local COVID-19 vaccine information: humboldtgov.org/VaccineInfo
Humboldt County COVID-19 Data Dashboard: humboldtgov.org/Dashboard
Follow us on Facebook: @HumCoCOVID19
Instagram: @HumCoCOVID19
Twitter: @HumCoCOVID19
Humboldt Health Alert: humboldtgov.org/HumboldtHealthAlert 

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