The Napa Valley Farmworker Foundation (FWF) and Napa Valley Grapegrowers (NVG) have formed a partnership with St. Helena Hospital Foundation (SHHF) to increase access to COVID-19 screening for farmworkers.
The groups have jointly funded supplying and staffing a mobile health unit capable of traveling to vineyard sites and testing up to 100 vineyard workers per day. These funds have secured an initial order of 3,000 tests to be made available throughout harvest to vineyard workers.
“The St. Helena Hospital Foundation established the Mobile Health Unit to provide accessible medical resources to the community. We’ve worked on the project for over a year and to see it used in this way, to provide COVID-19 testing support for our agricultural workforce through the Napa Valley Grapegrowers and Farmworker Foundation, I couldn’t be more proud,” said Karen Cakebread, director for the NVG and SHHF, who helped launch the mobile testing effort. “It is exciting that the synergy between the organizations came together at a time when our community needs creative solutions and quick action to support our work force.”
Since the pandemic was declared in March, the FWF and NVG have dedicated more than $200,000 to provide comprehensive safety resources in Spanish and English, social distancing vineyard signs, cloth face masks to more than 10,000 farmworkers, and recently launched a statewide bilingual community education campaign via the FWF COVID-19 Task Force. Providing critical access to testing is an important piece to ensure the continued health and well-being of Napa’s farmworkers. With the Mobile Health Unit launched, NVG and FWF continue to develop plans for increasing testing capabilities and opportunities in the community, to prevent COVID-19 and keep workers safe.