PASCO, WA - Governor Jay Inslee visited the Sea Mar East Housing Center for agricultural workers in Pasco today to encourage vaccines while getting to know first-hand Tri-Cities' farmworkers.
"Agricultural workers are vital to Washington. I really appreciate them," said Governor Inslee.
One by one, different agricultural workers spoke with Governor Inslee, as they sat in a circle. Inslee asked each member what they did, where they worked, and if they got their vaccine, all in the hopes of getting to know them better. A Spanish translator was there as well.
One of the workers told Inslee he was honored to be sitting next to him and to be able to tell him about the hard labor he works hard to complete every day. Amongst the workers included growers, cherry pickers, food packers, and more.
"Agricultural workers are particularly exposed to COVID. They have to work in cramped quarters and live frequently in cramped quarters. They have had a disproportionate number of COVID cases because of how they work so we have been very intentional to try to make sure they get access to masks, to make sure there are good protocols at the worksite." Says Inslee
Some of those efforts include various pop-up clinics, many of which have been at these workers' places of work.
"We've adopted some of the best rules in the country on that. Now we're very intentional in getting them access to the vaccine," said Inslee.
On the cusp of June 30th, Inslee is still trying to reach the goal of getting 70% of Washingtonians vaccinated. Right now, about 68% are vaccinated. If Washington can get 70% vaccinated before June 30th, Washington can open up earlier than June 30th.
Inslee also informed the press that 98% of Washingtonians hospitalized for COVID-19 are those not vaccinated.
"That's why I am really encouraging everyone to get vaccinated to make a safer Washington and follow the science and evidence from doctors, scientists, and credible information," said Inslee.
This was one of his many visits to encourage vaccinations and communicating with community members on how to better communicate proper information to them including all communities and ethnicities, whether English-speaking or not.