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.
Death of vaccine recipient under investigation
Agencies at the federal, state and local, are investigating the death of a person who was given the coronavirus vaccine several hours before their death, according to the Placer County Sheriff's Office.
The Sheriff's office stressed in a Facebook post Saturday afternoon that any reports of a cause of death are premature because of the ongoing investigation.
In the post, the Sheriff's office said that the person tested positive for coronavirus in late December and died on Thursday.
The person's identity and ties to Placer County were not released.
(Editor's Note: The headline of an earlier version of this article said the cause of death was due to coronavirus. The headline and article have been edited to emphasize that the cause of death is still under investigation.)
New Democrats Coalition urging President to expand rapid testing
Representative Ami Bera (D-Sacramento) tweeted his support of the New Democrats Coalition's letter urging President Joe Biden to expand the supply of rapid antigen testing.
The coalition argues that if more people in America had access to these tests, they could make more informed decisions to help minimize the coronavirus's spread.
State releases latest COVID-19 statistics
On Thursday, the state of California announced a state total of 3,039,044 COVID-19 cases. There were also 571 deaths reported Wednesday to Thursday, bringing the state's death total to 35,004.
With the 19,673 new cases added Wednesday to Thursday, this is the lowest new case total the state has seen in the past 49 days. The highest day was Dec. 15, with 53,711 coronavirus cases.
The state also reported 1,626,542 first and second doses of the coronavirus vaccine had been administered in California as of Jan. 20.
University of Pacific students help vaccinate Californians
The University of Pacific announced students in the school's pharmacology program have volunteered to help vaccinate Californians.
In a partnership with Walgreens, students were paired with pharmacists to screen patients, mix the COVID-19 vaccine, and administer vaccinations to healthcare workers.
Sacramento Kings' games postponed
The Sacramento Kings' games against the Memphis Grizzlies have been postponed due to unavailable players and contract tracing for Memphis, a league press release says.
The Kings' were originally scheduled to play the Grizzlies on Sunday and Monday, Jan. 24 and 25, in Memphis.
Biden to sign virus measures today, including mask requirement for travel
President Joe Biden is going forward with his national COVID-19 strategy to ramp up vaccinations and testing, reopen schools and businesses and increase the use of masks — including a requirement that Americans mask up for travel.
He'll sign 10 virus-related executive orders today as the nation is deep in the pandemic's deadliest wave and facing worrisome new mutations.
Vaccinating elderly could take months
California State Epidemiologist Dr. Erica Pan suggests it could take up to five months to vaccinate Californians who are 65 years old or older.
During Wednesday's Community Vaccine Advisory Committee Meeting, Pan said there are roughly 6.2 million people over 65 years old in California. If 70% are vaccinated to reach herd immunity, the state needs to vaccinate at least 4.3 million elderly folks.
And on Thursday morning, elderly Californians waited in line before a vaccination clinic even opened in Stanislaus County in hopes of getting a vaccination. The clinic is open from 9 a.m. - 5 p.m. or until doses of the vaccinations run out. Stanislaus County is reopening two vaccine clinics today after temporarily closing them.
"So it's going to take us, I know we're estimating anywhere from 20 to 22 weeks to get through just 65 years of age and older," Pan said during the meeting. "And with the scarcity of supply, combined with again who is most impacted as far as hospitalizations and deaths, and also a lot of the confusion that has arisen around, even within the health care worker population, like who's in the different tiers, we've been hearing a lot about as far as operationalizing that that's been a barrier of getting the vaccine out quickly. What we all need to get to collectively is as much vaccines in arms as possible."
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