Imperial county has the highest COVID-19 infection rate in California – six times higher than the state average – and the case load is rising, ICU units are 98% full. One fourth of residents live in poverty, 85% are Latino.
The county is a microcosm of the racial and economic disparities that fuel the surge. Why have public health strategies failed so far?
What do those advocating for the most vulnerable residents – farm workers, low wage essential workers – think should be done?
Dr. Tung Nguyen, Professor in the UCSF Health Division of General Internal Medicine provided an update on the pandemic.
Prof. Edward Flores, Assistant Professor of Sociology, University of California, Merced shared data that sheds light on the high rate of infection.
Luis Olmedo, Executive Director, Comité Cívico del Valle Inc. spoke about how Imperial County became the “ideal breeding ground” for the pandemic and the need for structural reforms.
Luis Flores, activist with the Imperial Valley Equity and Justice Coalition, spoke on how the community fought back the pressure to reopen quickly to protect the most vulnerable.
Armando Elenes, Secretary Treasurer, United Farm Workers (UFW) spoke about how fear has spread among farm worker communities and access to health care/protective equipment.
Michelle Garcia, nurse practitioner at the Calexico Wellness Center in Calexico.