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.
California to allocate 40% of vaccines to hardest-hit communities
California will begin setting aside 40% of all vaccine doses for the state's most vulnerable neighborhoods in an effort to inoculate people most at risk from the coronavirus more quickly.
The state is targeting about 400 ZIP, with about 8 million people eligible for shots, codes based on the "Healthy Places Index." State health officials are concerned that even in the hardest-hit areas, people who live there are not getting the vaccine.
Once 2 million vaccine doses are given out in those neighborhoods, the state will make it easier for counties to move through reopening tiers that dictate what businesses can be open. The details were shared Wednesday by two Newsom administration officials who spoke only on condition of anonymity.
Governor's Office staff member tests positive for COVID-19
A staff member in the California Governor's office tested positive for COVID-19 Tuesday.
According to a press release, the unnamed staff member has not had direct contact with anyone in the office for more than 15 minutes and has not had contact with Governor Newsom.
"We wish our staff member who tested positive well," said the governor's office in the press release.
According to a spokesperson from the governor's office, the staff at the office are required to follow mask-wearing mandates in accordance with California State law and the California Department of Public Health.
"Early on in the pandemic, the Governor’s Office put in place a number of protocols that minimized the amount of staff physically present at work, converted most in-person meetings to video conference calls, instituted a no questions asked remote work policy and reduced seating capacity in meeting rooms for in-person meetings that can’t be done remotely," explained a spokesperson from the governor’s office. "Those policies are still in effect and will be for the duration of the pandemic."
California Surgeon General talks COVID vaccines and essential workers
California is busy vaccinating people over 65 years old and those who work in certain sectors like educators, childcare workers and emergency services.
Starting March 15th, people will qualifying health conditions will have their vaccinated as well. But who comes after that? While group 1C was previously comprised of other essential workers, that no longer seems to be the case.
ABC10’s Mike Duffy had the chance to sit down with California Surgeon General Dr. Nadine Burke Harris who said, “following that we’re moving to an age-based system. And that age-based system is really going to be going down from age 65.”
When she was subsequently asked about other essential workers, Dr. Burke Harris said, “for our essential workers, they will fall into the age-based tier. Or if they have a pre-existing condition, a qualifying pre-existing condition, they would be there. Otherwise, they would go by age.”
San Joaquin County lifts restrictions on youth sports
Restrictions on youth sports in San Joaquin County are being lifted after the area saw a COVID-19 case rate drop fall below the 14 cases per 100,000 residents.
Youth sports could resume if athletes are tested within 24 hours before competition and they are wearing face masks while they are not playing. Coaches, staff and audience also have to wear a mask at all times.
COVID-19 vaccine now available for more Stanislaus County residents
More Stanislaus County residents can now receive the COVID-19 vaccines, according to county health officials.
The county is currently in phase 1b of vaccine distribution, which means those who are 65 and older and those who work in education, food and agriculture, and emergency service qualify for the treatment.
Those who want the vaccine would need to show proof that they live in Stanislaus County.
Vaccine appointments available at CNU campus
The Elk Grove campus of California Northstate University announced it has "hundreds of spots to register for today, tomorrow and Friday" for those looking for a coronavirus vaccine.
The clinic is vaccinating residents in Sacramento County who fall into "the Phase 1a Tier 1-3 and Phase 1b."
This is a free clinic that was originally intended for the Elk Grove Unified School District but "they wrapped up early and we are now opening up those remaining spots."
State releases latest COVID-19 statistics
On Tuesday, the state of California announced a state total of 3,484,963 confirmed cases of COVID-19. California reported 278 new deaths from COVID, bringing the total to more than 52,775 since the start of the pandemic.
The state reported at least 9,458,722 vaccine doses had been administered to Californians.
CDPH plans to report how many Californians are fully vaccinated
California Department of Public Health [CDPH] spokesperson Darrel Ng said in an email the state is planning to start reporting how many people are fully vaccinated in light of the new Johnson & Johnson vaccine coming to California.
"We are looking at ways to share info on “fully vaccinated” or “completed vaccination” and “partial vaccination” stats in recognition that we’ll have a mixed 2 dose vs. 1 dose environment going forward," Ng said.
CDPH currently reports the total number of doses vaccinated, doses delivered to the state, and doses expected to come to the state on a dashboard located on its COVID-19 website.
Ng said the state plans to start releasing this data in press releases starting next week. He added that it might take a little more time to adjust the current dashboard to display the new data.
Report affirms job losses of low-income California workers
A new state report says most California jobs vulnerable to layoffs and furloughs during the pandemic were among people making less than $40,000 per year.
The report by the state's Future of Work Commission released Tuesday comes as California approaches the first anniversary of its first pandemic stay-at-home order. It says just 22% of Californians can consistently work remotely, leaving Latino and Black workers more likely to suffer exposure to the virus at work. It also affirms that low-income women bore the brunt of job losses, many due to layoffs and some due to child care needs as schools shuttered.
This comes after community health centers say they've watched as initial shipments of the coronavirus vaccine went to larger hospitals, leaving their high-risk patients to wait. The centers are in areas with higher concentrations of poverty and fewer providers who take Medicaid. Dr. Efrain Talamantes is the chief operating officer for AltaMed Health Services in Los Angeles and Orange counties. He says his patients and staff are often an afterthought despite the emphasis on equity.
Resources guide for California families
- San Joaquin County Help: A Resource Guide for Struggling Families and Individuals
- Yolo County Help: A Resource Guide for Struggling Families and Individuals
- Stanislaus County Help: A Resource Guide for Struggling Families and Individuals
- Sacramento County Help: A Resource Guide for Struggling Families and Individuals
- Where to find help in Placer County: A resource guide for struggling individuals and families
- Northern California Help: A resource guide for struggling Families and individuals
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