FRESNO, California (KSEE) — On Tuesday the County of Fresno gave millions to the largest non-profit in Fresno to ramp up COVID-19 response efforts locally.
The county announced a contract with Fresno Economic Opportunities Commission (EOC) for around $5 million.
EOC will work with 17 community-based organizations including Fresno Metro Black Chamber of Commerce, Cultural Broker Program, West Family Resource Center, Fresno Building Healthy Communities, Central Valley Health Policy Institute, Fresno Interdenominational Refugee Ministries (FIRM), Go Public Schools, Centro Binacional, Cultiva La Salud.
The organizations will then provide transportation and quarantine, train contact tracers, and educate citizens about the pandemic.
EOC CEO Emilia Reyes said organizations will help the immigrant population find testing, provide transportation to hotels to quarantine, and ensure safety.
“We want the community to feel trust and that information is not going to be shared,” said Reyes. “That ICE is not going to be coming to get them. That we provide the needs to quarantine them to keep their families safe. “
Supervisor Brian Pacheco acknowledges the disconnect between some citizens and the Fresno Health Departments’ recommendations, especially about gatherings. He said Skaggs Bridge Park was packed this weekend.
“I have Skaggs Bridge in my district. This weekend there were about 1,000 people at that and that is a huge issue for us,” said Pacheco. “There was a person, I am sure multiple people that have the virus and now there are many people infected today because of that.”
Pacheco believes the county’s partnership with ECO could help bridge the gap.
“We really need the community education for the young people and all people to show that this is real. We need the preventative measures or we are never going to get past this,” said Pacheco.