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California halts system of shared vaccine codes after misuse | COVID-19 updates for Northern California

Five of California’s 58 counties advanced to a less restrictive tier on Tuesday. Gov. Gavin Newsom says eight counties are likely to move next week.

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 Feb. 23, can be found here.

California tops 50,000 virus deaths, including 806 in L.A.

Los Angeles County is reporting another 806 deaths from coronavirus during the winter surge, pushing California’s toll above 50,000, or about one-tenth of the U.S. total from the pandemic.

The county, which has a quarter of the state’s 40 million residents, said Wednesday that it checked backlogged death records and found the deaths, most of which occurred between December and early this month.

Johns Hopkins University puts California’s overall COVID-19 death toll at 50,890. The grim figure comes just days after the U.S. recorded a half-million deaths.

California halts system of shared vaccine codes after misuse

California is revamping its plan to help essential workers and seniors in underserved communities get coronavirus vaccinations after officials learned that access codes for appointments were being used by people who aren't eligible for the shots.

It comes as the state of 40 million people tries to prioritize vaccinating the most vulnerable.

California Governor’s Office of Emergency Services spokesman Brian Ferguson says the state provided general access codes to community groups to sign up residents at federally funded vaccination sites in Los Angeles and Oakland. But the codes were passed on, leading some people to sign up for shots who shouldn't.

The state will issue individual codes starting next week.

Vaccine eligibility expanding in Yuba-Sutter counties starting March 1

More people will soon become eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine, according to the County of Sutter Office of Emergency Management (OEM).

County of Sutter OEM says the plan is to offer the vaccine to Yuba-Sutter workers, of any age, in the Phase 1B, Tier 1 group. That group includes those who work in:

  • Education
  • Childcare
  • Agriculture
  • Food
  • Emergency services 

Regardless of the employee's age, workers in those fields will be eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine starting March 1.

State releases latest COVID-19 statistics

On Tuesday, the state of California announced a state total of 3,455,361 confirmed cases of COVID-19. California reported 314 new deaths from COVID, bringing the total to more than 49,877 since the start of the pandemic.

The state reported at least 7,763,668 vaccine doses had been administered to Californians.

$64+ million added to Sacramento rental assistance program

More than $64 million for the Sacramento Emergency Rental Assistance (SERA) was accepted and approved for use by the Sacramento County Board of Supervisors.

The money was provided by state and federal sources as part of the COVID-19 Tenant Relief Act. That $64 million comes in addition to $31 million allocated by the City of Sacramento for the same purposes.

The application period opens Feb. 25 and runs through March 19.

All Sacramento County residents can apply for the assistance, provided they meet the following criteria

  • Rent their home in the County of Sacramento
  • Have household gross annual income at or below the low-income limits (Below)
  • Have at least one household member that, due to COVID-19, is unemployed, OR has experienced a reduction in household income, incurred significant costs, OR has experienced a financial hardship due to COVID-19
  • Demonstrate a risk of being unhoused or housing instability

Gross household income limits are as follows:

  • 1 Person: $48,350
  • 2 Person: $55,250
  • 3 Person: $62,150
  • 4 Person: $69,050
  • 5 Person: $74,600
  • 6 Person: $80,100
  • 7 Person: $85,650
  • 8 Person: $91,150

Tap here to learn more about the program.

Deal to reopen schools is close

California Gov. Gavin Newsom is insisting that classrooms will reopen “very, very shortly.”

Newsom has for weeks worked with lawmakers on a deal to reopen schools and salvage what's left of this academic year. The governor dodged most questions on school reopening at a news conference Tuesday, instead saying a deal is being negotiated and he hopes it will be announced soon. But his forecast was called into question by Los Angeles teachers who say they won't bow to political pressure in their demands for access to vaccinations before reopening. 

Newsom declined to say whether he would consider forcing schools to reopen or using his emergency powers to suspend local bargaining.

This comes on the heels of five of California’s 58 counties advanced to a less restrictive tier on Tuesday. Gov. Gavin Newsom says eight counties are likely to move next week.

Resources guide for California families

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