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Yolo County to vaccinate people 75 and older in February | COVID-19 updates for Northern California

While the state has prioritized vaccinations for people 65 and older, Yolo County will focus first on the 11,000 people who are 75 and older.

SACRAMENTO, Calif — ABC10 is following the latest coronavirus statistics and vaccine news for the Sacramento region and the state of California. 

This blog will be updated throughout the day with the latest COVID-19 news. Click HERE to learn when and where you can sign-up to get the coronavirus vaccine near you.

Updates from Jan. 26 can be found here.

No lines at Stanislaus County covid-19 clinic, for now

Stanislaus County is extending their clinic hours to 7 p.m., but, contrary to usual sights, there's no line for the vaccine.

Officials say people shouldn't expect to be at the clinic for longer than 30 minutes.

Vaccinations are open to healthcare workers and people 65 and older. You must be a Stanislaus County resident to get a vaccine at the Stanislaus County clinics. Proof or employment and residence is required.  

Blue Shield of California tapped to run state vaccine system

California's health agency announced health insurance giant Blue Shield of California will be the outside administrator tasked with ramping up the state’s coronavirus vaccine system. 

The state has lagged in getting vaccines into its nearly 40 million residents, with counties and hospital systems operating separate programs. 

The contract with Blue Shield is still being finalized but its task is to “create, contract with and manage a statewide vaccine administration network.” It will also allocate doses directly to county public health departments, hospitals and pharmacies. 

Gov. Gavin Newsom on Monday abruptly announced a more streamlined vaccination system in which the state would play a more centralized role.

Yolo County to vaccinate people 75 and older in February

Starting in February, Yolo County will begin vaccinating people 75 and older against the coronavirus.

It's a group that the county said is at greatest risk for severe symptoms or death from the virus. They said a vaccine given to someone 75 and older is three times more likely to save a life than one given to a person 65 to 74.

Earlier this month, Governor Gavin Newsom opened up vaccinations to people 65 and older. However, Yolo County intends to focus on 75 and older first, with a focus on those in underserved communities, due to limited doses of the vaccine.

“We are receiving doses in very limited quantities. These doses need to be directed where they can save the most lives,” said Yolo County’s Public Health Officer Dr. Aimee Sisson. “The data in Yolo County show that residents 75 years and older are most likely to die from COVID-19.”

The county recommends that people contact their health care provider first for vaccine options. Sutter Health, UC Davis Health, Dignity Health, and Kaiser Permanente are also administering the vaccine, but supplies are limited and it might take time to make an appointment.

Gov. Newsom signs executive order to protect health care providers

Gov. Gavin Newsom signed an executive order that will boost vaccination efforts across the state by protecting health care workers.

The order confirms that a current state law also applies to vaccine distribution. The law protects health care workers and providers from legal liability when the state or local officials ask them to provide services during a state of emergency. The order also extends that protection to pharmacy technicians as well.

Another thing the executive order does is make the Department of Consumer Affairs' disciplinary bodies prioritize investigations against doctors and providers who allegedly divert vaccines for financial gain.

San Joaquin County reports an 18% decrease in COVID-19 hospitalizations

Hospitals in San Joaquin County are reportedly treating 255 COVID-19 positive patients.

As of Wednesday afternoon, the demand for intensive care services remains high in San Joaquin County, according to a press release. ICUs are operating at 141% of licensed bed capacity and the county's hospitals have reported 7 patient deaths in the last 24 hours. 

While the numbers are high, the county says over the past week, the amount of COVID-19 hospitalizations has decreased by 18.3%.

State releases latest COVID-19 statistics 

On Wednesday, the state of California announced a state total of 3,169,914 COVID-19 cases. There were also 697 deaths reported Tuesday to Wednesday, bringing the state's death total to 38,224.

California hints at new vaccine distribution system, but few details emerge

California is changing up the way it is delivering coronavirus vaccines and moving to a more centralized system that should streamline appointment sign-up, notification and eligibility for nearly 40 million residents. 

But few details were released Tuesday, and counties, which have been leading the vaccine effort, say they need more information. 

A private third-party administrator will work with a new statewide secretary to decide where the state’s supply of vaccine should go. California has been criticized for vaccinating so few people even amid a national vaccine shortage that appears to be the main bottleneck. At the same time, residents are frustrated by eligibility rules that vary by county and by hospital system.  

WATCH MORE: California moves into new age-based approach for vaccine rollout

California will finish vaccinating health care workers, people over 65 and essential workers like teachers and agriculture workers before moving to the new approach.

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