Fresno County clears path for more essential workers to be vaccinated

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FRESNO, California.- The Fresno County Department of Public Health announced that educators, agriculture workers, and child care workers are eligible to get vaccinated starting March 1.

“I am happy about it,” said Tower Health Foods employee Shannon Houston. “I knew it was coming, I’m just surprised it was so quick.”

Houston has worked at the health foods store for 11 years, but this last year was different than ever before.

“Everyone was a little bit scared,” she said. “Grabbing toilet paper, grabbing whatever they thought was going to help them through this.”

Fresno County Vaccine Lead Joe Prado said on Monday educators, childcare, and the food industry workers will be able to get the shot.

“We are working with our partners to be able to do that rollout,” said Prado.

The state has a long list of employees that fall under the food and agriculture job category including farmworkers, grocery store clerks, and restaurant and health food employees.

Fresno Restaurant Association President Chuck Van Fleet said this is great news for the county but asked the community to stay vigilant because restaurants need to resume indoor dining services to survive.

“We need to get to 50%,” said Van Fleet. “We need people to wear masks. Wear masks when they come into the restaurant. Wear masks when they go to the bathroom. And really the social gatherings have to be prohibited. We really need everyone to work together so we can get to 50% opening.”

The county will not have an age limit for the eligible fields but that could change depending on demand.

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