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Patient tests positive for UK coronavirus variant in Butte County | COVID-19 Updates in Northern California

Health officials in Butte County say they have diagnosed a single case of the UK coronavirus variant in an adult resident.

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 last week, can be found here.

Fully vaccinated people can gather without masks, CDC says

Fully vaccinated Americans can gather with other vaccinated people indoors without wearing a mask or social distancing. That's according to long-awaited guidance from federal health officials. 

The recommendations were announced Monday. They also say that vaccinated people can come together in the same way with people considered at low-risk for severe disease, such as in the case of vaccinated grandparents visiting healthy children and grandchildren. 

Sacramento Metro Fire's Captain Chris Vestal is one of the frontline workers who has been fully vaccinated.

"With the mass amount of encounters that we have with the general public, it does give us a little more confidence."

Vestal said the CDC guidelines also come as a relief for firefighters who work in family-style cohorts for their shifts at their assigned station.

"When we come to work, we typically work 48-hours on and then we have a couple days off but we know when everyone comes back to work they might've seen their family and who was their family exposed to?" Vestal said. "So, living in that family environment in the firehouse, the vaccine is important for us to stay healthy not just during duty but for those days off as well."

Officials say a person is considered fully vaccinated two weeks after receiving the last required dose of vaccine. About 30 million Americans or only about 9% of the U.S. population have been fully vaccinated with a federally authorized COVID-19 vaccine so far.

200,000+ teachers vaccinated in the first week of March

More than 200,000 California teachers have received COVID vaccinations in the last, Gov. Gavin Newsom announced in a press conference on Monday.

The number of weekly teacher vaccinations nearly triples the state’s goal of getting 75,000 teachers vaccinated per week, the governor said. On Mar. 1, Newsom said at least 10% of the state’s vaccine supply would be dedicated to education workers.

"This is welcome news for teachers, students and parents as more and more schools reopen safely across the state," Newsom said. "We will continue working with our local partners to accelerate this effort in communities across the state so that all school staff have access to a vaccine within weeks."

California lawmakers passed the “Safe Schools for All” plan on Mar. 4, which sets aside $6.6 Billion to support safety measures for in-person education and much more.

According to state health officials, 10.5 million vaccinations have been administered in California. More than one in 10 Californians over the age of 16 are fully vaccinated and more than one in four people 65 and over are fully vaccinated, officials said.

Governor highlights state's work at vaccination site

Gov. Newsom is participating in a press conference at a vaccination site in the Central Valley to "highlight the state’s vaccine equity metric, which will increase vaccinations in the hardest-hit communities."

California health officials release latest coronavirus figures

Coronavirus testing in California is approaching the 50-million mark as the state continues is positive trend toward recovery.

A little more than 3.5 million coronavirus cases have been confirmed in the state to date, with 7-day and 14-day positivity sitting at 2.1% and 2.2%, respectively. Over the past 24 hours 276,485 COVID tests have been administered.

There have been 54,224 COVID-19 deaths since the start of the pandemic.

According to health officials, as of March 8, providers have reported administering a total of 10,512,860 vaccine doses statewide. The CDC reports that 13,345,790 doses have been delivered to entities within the state, and 14,503,895 vaccine doses, which includes the first and second dose, have been shipped. Numbers do not represent true day-to-day change as reporting may be delayed.

UK coronavirus variant found in Butte County

Health officials in Butte County say they have diagnosed a single case of the UK coronavirus variant in an adult resident.

Contact tracing has already begun as soon as the person tested positive. This was before variant testing when it was learned that the person was infected with the UK variant, officials said.

“Detection of a variant that spreads more easily is a reminder that even though case rates are declining in Butte County, we must maintain our vigilance and continue using protective measures against coronavirus until most of the population has immunity. We cannot let down our guard,” Dr. Robert Bernstein, Butte County Public Health Officer, said in a press release.

As of March 4, 250 cases of the UK variant have been detected in California.

Consulate General of Mexico in Natomas vaccination clinic opens

A new vaccination site for Sacramento County opened Monday morning. The Consulate General of Mexico in Natomas appointment-only vaccination clinic is catered towards Mexican nationals, and begins as food and agricultural workers will finally be eligible for vaccines. Even though they are listed in the state's current 1B tier, the sector has not been eligible for vaccines in Sacramento County, until Monday.

"They did it this way because of the limited vaccine and limited appointments," Dr. Olivia Kasirye, Sacramento County Public Health Officer, said. "They want to be sure they gave enough opportunity for each of the sectors."

According to state data, about 46% of coronavirus deaths in the state have claimed Latino population in California, though the demographic makes up roughly 39% of the population.

Dr. Kaysire says that the Johnson & Johnson vaccines, which are heading to Sacramento County this week, will be a great tool for hard to reach communities that move around a lot.

The clinic is open from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.

County tier movement could happen Tuesday

Nine counties could be eligible to move to the red tier on March 9, should their numbers remain low. Those counties include:

  • Alameda County
  • Alpine County 
  • Butte County
  • Calaveras County
  • Imperial County
  • Mono County
  • Placer County 
  • Santa Cruz County
  • Solano County  
  • Tuolumne County 

To move to the red tier, counties need to maintain an adjusted seven-day average case rate of less than seven and a positivity rate of less than 8% for two consecutive weeks. Counties with a positivity rate of less than 5% and a health equity positivity rate of less than 5.2%  for two consecutive weeks could also move to the red tier, according to the state's guidelines.

Mariposa County and Plumas County could move to the orange tier should their case rate and positivity rate remain eligible for the orange tier. Alpine County could move to the yellow tier should its case rate and positivity rate remain eligible for the yellow tier.

Resources guide for California families

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