Regional Centers for Border Health provides tests and vaccines for those planning to work in local fields
SAN LUIS, Ariz. (KYMA, KECY) - The Regional Center for Border Health (RCBH) is taking a proactive approach to protecting farmworkers from both coronavirus and the flu.
It organized a testing event Tuesday for more than 500 residents and workers in San Luis.
Alex Bejarano, Director of Public Relations for the RCBH said farmworkers frequently come from Mexico to prepare for harvesting season. He emphasized the importance of testing and vaccinations.
"The flu alone could be deadly for a certain population, and the flu mix with COVID-19, having both, that could really affect someone's health," Bejarano explained.
Sonny Rodriguez, president of the Growers Company, says the event wasn't just about coronavirus tests and the flu vaccines.
"We can create all the safe zones as an employer. We can, but it's the educational part that the employees understand what COVID can do," Rodriguez said. "And how they social distance and how they wear their mask is was important."
Education is a crucial, yet relatively recent, step for growers and their workers ahead of pre-harvesting season.
The Regional Center for Border Health says it will evaluate the turnout to determine if another it will hold a similar event in November.
"The problem always is getting people out," Rodriguez stated. "You know, we took a huge risk. This is really just a test to see if the people will come."
Coming up tonight on 13 On Your Side, hear from a farmworker about her duties on the farm and why maintaining a healthy work environment is important to her.