Farmworker infected with coronavirus dies in Santa Maria guest-worker housing

By Joe Payne On the day that advocates and community members called for protections for Santa Maria Valley farmworkers hit hard by COVID-19 infection rates, Leo Begario Chavez-Alvarado passed away. A guest worker who worked in Santa Maria for Alco Harvesting, Chavez-Alvarado was tested for coronavirus after he died July 7. The test came backContinue reading “Farmworker infected with coronavirus dies in Santa Maria guest-worker housing”

Advocates call for regulation as Santa Maria farmworkers suffer most from coronavirus infection

By Joe Payne The two most direct governing bodies to the Central Coast’s current coronavirus hotspot, Santa Maria, received a dire warning from a community advocate for the local farmworker and indigenous immigrant population regarding the COVID-19 infection rate: “We are literally a ticking time bomb.” Hazel Davalos, the organizing director for CAUSE (Central CoastContinue reading “Advocates call for regulation as Santa Maria farmworkers suffer most from coronavirus infection”

Santa Maria gyms fail to enforce facemasks as coronavirus infections spike

By Joe Payne As the coronavirus infection rate in Santa Maria continues to rise, several local gyms are lax on state-mandated face covering requirements for members. When called and asked if visitors needed facemasks, staff at four prominent gyms along Broadway confirmed that customers could remove their masks once beginning workouts and were only requiredContinue reading “Santa Maria gyms fail to enforce facemasks as coronavirus infections spike”