Farmworker housing facility in Oxnard reports coronavirus outbreak, with at least 95 people infected

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A worker harvest strawberries at a farm near Oxnard in this file photo taken on March 13, 2013. (JOE KLAMAR/AFP via Getty Images)

A worker harvest strawberries at a farm near Oxnard in this file photo taken on March 13, 2013. (JOE KLAMAR/AFP via Getty Images)

Ninety-five residents of a farmworker housing facility in Oxnard have tested positive for COVID-19, and results from 100 additional tests are still pending, authorities announced Monday.

The patients are in their 20 and 30s and are currently under quarantine or isolation with mild symptoms, according to Ventura County health officials.

Authorities urged the public and local employers to follow safety measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19 as cases rise across California.

As Gov. Gavin Newsom ordered seven counties including L.A. to immediately close bars on Sunday, the state recommended Ventura County and others to reinstate local closures.

In April, Ventura County released specific guidelines for the agriculture sector, which includes providing disinfectants and disposable towels at worksites.

The agricultural commissioner’s office also distributed 1 million masks to farm sites throughout the county, officials said.

But some California farmworkers, many of them immigrants with no health insurance, say their risk of getting sick has remained high.

In a statement, Ventura officials said all county health care clinics have waived fees for coronavirus-related testing or treatment during their response efforts.

Ventura County has about 36,000 farmworkers, according to the Ventura County Star. A 2002 study that found overcrowded shelters and lack of basic necessities for farmworkers spurred the construction of housing facilities in the region, the newspaper reported.

The Farm Bureau of Ventura County estimates that the county grows over $2 billion worth of crops each year.

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