The Sonoma County Department of Health Services on Thursday announced it has received a three-year, $6 million grant from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to increase resources and services in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic.

“This investment will strengthen the tools that our community health workers need in order to respond to areas disproportionately impacted by the pandemic,” said Tina Rivera, interim director for the Sonoma County Department of Health Services.

Rivera said health workers are reaching out to non-native English speakers in their native languages to increase access to vaccines and testing, as well as other public services.

The grant initiative will be used to hire community health workers to focus on areas of Sonoma County with high rates of COVID-19.

The project is also collaborating with City College of San Francisco to provide free training, skills development, and academic and technology support to local community health workers, as well as to county residents who aspire to become community health workers.

Sonoma County residents living in impacted communities are encouraged to apply for the new training program as their insights can help ensure a more effective COVID-19 response plan, the county said.

To learn more, people can visit https://sonomacounty.ca.gov/Health/News/CHW-Certificate/.