July 22, 2024

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Tuesday, August 24, 2021 | California Healthline


Los Angeles Times:
Landmark FDA Approval Could Turbocharge COVID-19 Vaccinations In California 


The formal approval of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine could be a key turning point in California’s pandemic response, opening the floodgates to even more mandates and — experts hope — a significant wave of vaccinations. The state has already established an aggressive pandemic response, with a large number of agencies and institutions having instituted vaccination policies, including inoculation requirements for educators and healthcare workers. (Smith, 8/24)


Bay Area News Group:
How FDA Approval Will Change COVID-19 Vaccinations


Federal drug officials on Monday announced the full approval of the Pfizer vaccine against COVID-19, a long-awaited step that will give employers a stronger legal foundation to impose vaccine mandates and could help persuade the unvaccinated to get their shots. As a new surge of illness tears through parts of the U.S., the historic move adds the vaccine to the long list of routine and trusted inoculations that includes shots against tetanus, measles, mumps, rubella, diphtheria and other potentially deadly pathogens. (Krieger, 8/23)


Sacramento Bee:
What The Pfizer Vaccine Approval Means For Sacramentans 


On Monday, the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine became the first to move beyond emergency-use status to receive full approval from the Food and Drug Administration — a step that polling suggests might encourage a subset of the unvaccinated public to get their shots. With case rates in Sacramento and other local counties ascending in recent weeks in large part due to the delta variant, what does Pfizer’s FDA approval really mean? Here’s what you need to know. (Jasper, 8/24)


Los Angeles Times:
After FDA Vaccine Approval, Biden Urges U.S. To Get The Shot 


The battle against COVID-19 passed a regulatory milestone Monday when the Food and Drug Administration granted full approval to Pfizer’s vaccine, a decision that could boost President Biden’s effort to control the pandemic. Public health experts hope that full approval persuades more Americans to get their shots, strengthening protection against the coronavirus at a time when hospitals are swelling with unvaccinated patients who have contracted the more contagious Delta variant. A recent Kaiser Family Foundation poll found that 31% of unvaccinated Americans said they would be more likely to get a vaccine fully approved by the FDA. (Megerian and Stokols, 8/23)


The Hill:
Pentagon To Mandate COVID-19 Vaccine For Military


The U.S. military will move to mandate the COVID-19 vaccine for all service members now that the Pfizer vaccine has full approval from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the Pentagon’s top spokesperson announced Monday. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin is “prepared to issue updated guidance requiring all service members to be vaccinated,” Pentagon press secretary John Kirby told reporters. “These efforts ensure the safety of our service members and promote the readiness of our force, not to mention the health and safety of the communities around the country in which we live,” he said. (Mitchell, 8/23)


AP:
Pentagon To Mandate COVID-19 Vaccine, As Pfizer Is Approved


Pentagon spokesman John Kirby said the steps Monday to make the vaccine mandatory are an effort to ensure the safety of service members. Concerns about the virus are especially acute in the military, where service members live and work closely together in barracks and on ships, increasing the risks of rapid spreading. Any large virus outbreak in the military could affect America’s ability to defend itself in any security crisis. In a message to the force earlier this month, Gen. Mark Milley said medical professionals recommend the vaccine, and that getting the shot is key to maintaining a military that is prepared to defend the nation. At the bottom of his message, Milley scrawled a handwritten note: “Getting vaccinated against COVID-19 is a key force protection and readiness issue.” (Baldor, 8/23)


Stars and Stripes:
Pentagon: Coronavirus Vaccine Will Soon Be Mandatory For Troops Following Full FDA Approval


Service members began receiving the vaccine voluntarily in January. As of Wednesday, about 1.08 million active-duty, Reserve and National Guard troops have taken the shot and nearly 245,000 are partially vaccinated, according to the latest Defense Department data. … In the Navy, which led the military branches in vaccination rates before the mandate, some commanding officers said they have had immunologists speak to their ship crews to correct misinformation that caused some to reject the shot. “Sailors are open to listen. They are very intelligent, and they want education before they say yes to anything,” said Cmdr. Bralyn Cathey, captain of the guided-missile destroyer USS John Finn in San Diego. (Doornbos, 8/23)


Bay Area News Group:
Richmond To Require All City Employees Get COVID-19 Vaccine


On the same day that federal drug officials announced their full approval of the Pfizer vaccine against COVID-19, Richmond adopted a policy requiring all its city workers to be fully vaccinated. City Manager Laura Snideman sent an email to city personnel Monday stating that all employees, interns, volunteers and many city contractors who regularly work onsite will have to be at least partially vaccinated by Sept. 7 and fully dosed by Oct. 18. (Sciacca, 8/23)


Orange County Register:
Orange County Performing Arts Venues Announce Mandatory COVID-19 Vaccination And Mask Requirements 


In a joint effort to keep live and in-person arts events running in Orange County, the area’s largest arts organizations have announced they will require proof of COVID-19 vaccination and enforce mask-wearing for all guests attending upcoming performances effective immediately. In a press release issued by Arts Orange County, Irvine Barclay Theatre, Musco Center for the Arts, Pacific Chorale, Pacific Symphony, Philharmonic Society of Orange County, Segerstrom Center for the Arts, Soka Performing Arts Center and South Coast Repertory have all adopted the commitment to require all ticketholders to be fully vaccinated and wear face masks while inside the venues. (Fadroski, 8/23)


San Diego Union-Tribune:
Local Doctors, Hospitals Call For An Indoor Masking Mandate 


Dismayed by the relentless stream of COVID-19 patients ending up in their care, local doctors and hospitals are pushing for stronger mask and proof-of-vaccination mandates in San Diego. They argue that the region has fallen behind other big California cities in the fight to keep the very-contagious Delta variant from spreading so quickly that it overwhelms local health care resources. (Sisson, 8/23)


The (Santa Rosa) Press Democrat:
Sonoma County Health Officer Moves Up Deadline For School Staff To Be Vaccinated


Sonoma County Health Officer Dr. Sundari Mase issued a health order Monday moving up the deadline for school staff to be vaccinated ahead of the requirement from the California Department of Public Health. Sonoma County teachers, classified staff and administrators will now need to provide proof of vaccination by Sept. 24, a full three weeks earlier than the state deadline of Oct. 15. Otherwise, any staff member will begin to be put on a regular regimen of being tested for COVID-19 once a week at minimum. (Tornay, 8/23)


Southern California News Group:
LA County Tells Schools To Begin Weekly COVID-19 Testing For Some Sports On Sept. 1, Makes Masks Required Indoors 


The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health (LADPH) updated its guidance for youth sports on Monday and informed school principals that beginning Sept. 1 the county will require weekly COVID-19 testing for high school sports in the “moderate” and “high risk” categories. Changes to the guidelines had been made online Friday, sent to school administrators on Sunday and announced Monday morning, but then pulled back Monday afternoon for more revisions. (Fattal and Calhoun, 8/23)


San Diego Union-Tribune:
Alpine School District Sticks To Mask Mandate Although Some Parents Want Choice 


The superintendent of the small East County school district of Alpine announced Monday night that it will require them indoors in accordance with state rules, even though he believes parents should have a choice about whether their children wear masks at school. Alpine School District Superintendent Rich Newman initially told families weeks ago that masks would be optional in school, to cater to some parents’ wishes to leave their kids unmasked. (Taketa, 8/23)


San Francisco Chronicle:
S.F. Schools Plan To Spend $2.9 Million On Air Purifiers To Combat Wildfire Smoke, Coronavirus Risk


Classrooms in San Francisco public schools that open their windows to curb the spread of the coronavirus may soon get more portable air cleaners to keep kids from inhaling unhealthy smoke from wildfires — a step that some parent groups welcomed but said was long overdue. The San Francisco Unified School District on Monday announced a plan to spend $2.9 million on air purifiers, saying that only a fraction of its classrooms have them. If the school board approves the purchase, up to 3,750 machines would be distributed on a rolling basis as soon as possible, according to district spokesperson Laura Dudnick — covering all classrooms but not all offices. (Hwang, 8/23)


Sacramento Bee:
Data Breach At CA College Reveals Vaccine Exemption Requests 


Personal information from California State University, Chico, students who requested a religious exemption from the COVID vaccine has been posted online after an apparent data breach. The requests from about 130 students were dumped on an anonymous Internet message board, documenting approved and denied requests from CSU Chico students between June 7 and Aug. 10. (Morrar, 8/23)


Fresno Bee:
Fresno City College, SCCCD Mandates COVID Vaccine 


Students and employees on campus at Fresno City College or any of its sister colleges will have to show proof of a COVID-19 vaccine beginning Oct. 15, after trustees voted Monday evening to establish a mandate. The board voted 5-2, with trustees Bobby Kahn and Richard Caglia casting “no” votes. The decision follows in the footsteps of the California State University and the University of California, which made COVID-19 vaccinations mandatory, except for certain medical or religious exemptions, for the fall 2021 semester. (Panoo, 8/23)


EdSource:
More Vaccine Mandates Coming To California Colleges Following Full Approval Of Pfizer Vaccine


Full approval of the Pfizer-BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine Monday by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration will likely trigger more vaccine mandates, especially at California community colleges this fall. California’s public university systems, the University of California and California State University, already chose to require students and staff to be vaccinated this fall without waiting for FDA approval of one of the existing vaccines. Some community colleges across the state did the same. But most of California’s 115 campus-based community colleges have not yet implemented such mandates, and several explicitly said they were waiting for one of the vaccines to receive full approval. (Burke and Lambert, 8/23)


Los Angeles Times:
College Student Life Is Back And Loaded With COVID Rules 


Tens of thousands of students are converging in concentrated locations from all over the state, nation and even the world. They are moving into tight dorm rooms and setting up apartments with new roommates. They’re sitting in classrooms, eating cafeteria-style, socializing and studying in the library. Many California college campuses appear to be havens of protection from the coronavirus, with strict safety practices that include mandatory vaccinations for students and staff, weekly testing and required masking for all indoor and some outdoor activities. Positive cases will prompt quarantines and contract tracing. (Watanabe and Shalby, 8/24)


Los Angeles Times:
Young Adults Most Infected With Coronavirus In L.A. County 


As the highly contagious Delta variant of the coronavirus continues to spread, breakthrough infections of fully vaccinated people are ticking up in Los Angeles County, but inoculated people remain generally well-protected against hospitalizations and death. Cumulatively, among 5.1 million L.A. County residents who are fully vaccinated, 0.53% have tested positive, 0.014% have been hospitalized and 0.0013% — or 68 people — have died. (Lin II and Money, 8/23)


Sacramento Bee:
COVID Testing Demand Surges In Sacramento Amid Delta Variant 


As the highly contagious delta variant continues to rage throughout Sacramento County, residents are scrambling to secure COVID-19 tests, putting added stress on health systems and community test sites. “We have surpassed the numbers for the summer surge of July 2020 and we are on track to either reach or even exceed the numbers for the winter surge,” said Sacramento County Public Health Officer Dr. Olivia Kasirye last week on a call with reporters. (Yoon-Hendricks, 8/24)


Sacramento Bee:
See Which Sacramento Area ZIP Codes Saw Fastest COVID Spread


More than 17,500 new COVID-19 infections were reported in Sacramento County and south Placer County in the past 30 days, almost quadruple the number reported in the prior 30 days, county data show. There were 115 COVID-related deaths in Sacramento and Placer counties during the last 30 days, roughly quadruple the number from the previous 30 days, separate state data show. (Reese, 8/24)


The Bakersfield Californian:
3 New Deaths, 1,149 New Cases Of COVID-19 Reported By Public Health On Monday 


The Kern County Public Health Services Department reported three new deaths and 1,149 new cases of COVID-19 on Monday. The total number of coronavirus cases is 120,857 and the total deaths stands at 1,448. Recovered, or presumed recovered, residents are 113,815, according to the Public Health Department. In the last 14 days, an average of 32.07 people per day out of 100,000 contracted the coronavirus. (8/23)


Bay Area News Group:
Caldor Fire Now Nation’s ‘Number-One Priority’ As It Nears Tahoe


Uncomfortably close to Lake Tahoe, the Caldor Fire is now the nation’s top-priority wildfire — underscoring the potential damage it could yet unleash even as weather conditions improve and resources continue to flow to the area. The fire, which has destroyed more than 550 buildings in El Dorado County, had ignited 114,166 acres by Monday night as officials continued to sound alarms. The blaze has such destructive potential that it has jumped to the front of the line when it comes to allocating personnel, fire trucks, aircraft and other tools from around the country, Cal Fire Chief Thom Porter said during a briefing Monday. (Kendall, Hurd and Kelly, 8/23)


San Francisco Chronicle:
Is Wildfire Smoke Making It Unsafe To Travel To Tahoe Right Now?


Wildfires are making life extremely difficult at Lake Tahoe right now. Though no fires are burning inside the lake basin, dense concentrations of smoke are blotting out the sky and surrounding mountains, making the famously sapphire-blue lake appear as a hazy shade of orange to those standing on its shores. Air sensors in the area are maxing out above 500 AQI — meaning the air is hazardous and likely to impact healthy people — and many locals are in the process of evacuating their homes even without an official order to do so. (Thomas, 8/23)


AP:
California Wildfire Smoke Closes Reno Schools, Tahoe Parks


Dense smoke from massive wildfires burning in neighboring California created hazardous air quality in the Reno-Tahoe area on Monday, canceling flights and forcing the closure of schools, parks and popular summer beaches. Government air monitors were recording some of the region’s most hazardous conditions in years. Weather forecasters and health officials said little relief is expected in western Nevada through mid-week. (Sonner and Metz, 8/24)


Los Angeles Times:
L.A. Officials Urge Residents To Be Prepared For Fire Season 


With more than 1 million acres burned across California already in 2021, Los Angeles leaders on Monday urged residents to protect themselves and their property ahead of Southern California’s wildfire season. Mayor Eric Garcetti, who appeared with Los Angeles Fire Chief Ralph Terrazas and City Councilwoman Monica Rodriguez, said property owners should clear brush around their homes and digitize important papers or keep them at the ready in case evacuation orders come. (Seidman and Smith, 8/23)


KQED:
COVID School Closures Could Loom Large In Newsom Recall 


Newsom’s handling of education has helped fuel the recall effort, and been a key talking point for recall candidates like Assemblyman Kevin Kiley, a Republican from Rocklin. “He’s just saying whatever is necessary to cater to the agenda of the teachers unions who want the outcome of schools being closed,” Kiley said. “And he’ll give whatever rationale it takes to get there.” (Orr, 8/23)


Modesto Bee:
State Orders Recall Of Raw Goat Milk From Farm Near Modesto


The state has ordered a recall of raw goat milk sold from a dairy farm west of Modesto. Routine sampling found campylobacter jejuni bacteria, but no illnesses have been reported, the California Department of Food and Agriculture announced Monday. The product came from Valley Milk Simply Bottled, a small operation along Maze Boulevard west of Hart Road. The same farm has had two recalls of cow milk because of the same bacteria since 2019, again with no illnesses reported. (Holland, 8/23)


Modesto Bee:
Turlock ‘We Care’ Resumes Free Lunches, Resource Meetings 


The We Care Program this month resumed serving weekly lunches and holding resource sharing meetings after a hiatus earlier in the COVID-19 pandemic. Staff hold the Monday lunches and community participation meetings right before a peer support group in an effort to reach Turlock residents in need, shelter manager Debbie Gutierrez said. (Lam, 8/24)


CapRadio:
Restorative Justice Group Offers Closure, Redemption For Both Survivors And Perpetrators Of Sexual Violence 


In 2018, Jocelyn Arild made a spontaneous decision to send a Facebook message to the man she says raped her 20 years earlier. Arild ultimately sought help from Alissa Ackerman, a Fullerton State University criminal justice professor who was practicing restorative justice. It’s a process that brings together people who have caused harm and people who have experienced harm for conversation in a safe, supervised space. “You address the underlying issues that resulted in the harm in the first place,” Ackerman said. “Most of those underlying issues are conflicts between people. And if you address the conflicts between people, most of that harm is addressed in a meaningful way and it doesn’t reoccur.” (Caiola, 8/23)