LOS ANGELES - California Gov. Gavin Newsom on Friday focused on protecting essential workers such as construction laborers, food prep employees, farm workers, truck drivers and cashiers, who are being disproportionately impacted by coronavirus.
The governor said that an overwhelming majority of California's essential workforce is Latino, Black and Asian, adding that those are the communities being disproportionately affected by the virus.
"This is where we're seeing the spread," Newsom said. "In the Latinx community. They are the bedrock and backbone of our essential workforce."
The additional worker protection will include preventative measures for essential workers, new employer education resources and measures to ensure long-lasting protection for workers who are sick or have been exposed to the virus.
Newsom said the state will be expanding on the Roomkey model, by providing more hotel rooms and subsidies for essential workers who feel sick, and have no place at home to isolate because of they might be living in tight quarters.
He said more needs to be done with an educational awareness campaign, reaching more employers and families.
Several of Newsom's proposals would require lawmakers to pass legislation to expand on current measures already in place.
The governor's office released a new safety handbook Friday to help guide employers through a safe reopening.
The virus has surged in many parts of California, which on Wednesday surpassed New York as the state with the most confirmed cases. Another 12,000 cases were added Thursday followed by an additional 9,881 on Friday, bringing the state total to 434,881.
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