Standing at a food packaging facility in Stockton on Monday, Gov. Newsom announced the state will send $52 million to Central Valley counties for combating a spike in COVID-19 cases. The money, coming from a pot of emergency aid from the Centers for Disease Control, will go to testing, contact tracing and isolation housing.

“The rising community transmission rates we are seeing, particularly among Latinos in the Central Valley, are concerning,” said Newsom.

Public health agencies will also be deploying strike teams to investigate outbreaks at agricultural workplaces, high-density housing developments and factories, among other sites in the eight counties. The state has seen success with this strategy in the Imperial Valley. Newsom said he will also be naming a COVID-19 task force to focus specifically on the Central Valley.

Interested in more coverage and insights? Receive a free month of Agri-Pulse West.

While Newsom spoke on Friday of ratcheting up enforcement of coronavirus safety standards, he said Monday that the Central Valley effort will instead be engaging employers in a “supportive mindset,” rather than punitive.