Quick Take:

As offices re-open and traffic worsens, an innovative program called GO Santa Cruz offers a more sustainable way to...

Hello, everyone — and happy almost Friday. And almost holiday weekend.

If you aren’t already onboard the Lookout Train, this is the time — six months in and charging full-steam-ahead out of a pandemic — to hop on with us.

We’ve got a special discount membership offer via the code Lookout6Months here.

To the headlines of the day we go…

Vax for cash: Big bucks to those who get their shots

Medical assistant Letrice Smith fills syringes during a community COVID-19 vaccination clinic run by Ravenswood Family Health Network at Facebook headquarters in Menlo Park on April 10, 2021.

Newsom’s ‘Vax for the Win’ offer to Californians: For those who are insufficiently compelled by civic duty and self-preservation to get vaccinated, Gov. Gavin Newsom is offering another reason to get the jab: cold, hard cash. Newsom announced a $116.5 million “Vax for the Win” program, the largest inoculation lottery program in the country. The money will be split among dozens of lucky Californians: $1.5 million to each of 10 “grand cash prize” winners who will be picked by random draw on June 15, and another $50,000 will be awarded to 30 “Fridays for 30” winners to be selected by random draw on June 4 and June 11. More from CalMatters on that here.

New California COVID-19 relief on the way

Relief could include checks, business grants, child savings accounts: The California Legislature is weighing a raft of proposals to provide new financial help to residents who have suffered economic hardship during the COVID-19 pandemic, including rent relief, state stimulus checks and grants for small businesses and entrepreneurs wanting to start new ventures. More from the LA Times here.

Why experts are convinced most vaccinated people don’t need masks

People walk along the boardwalk in Redondo Beach. Health officials say fully vaccinated Americans don’t need to wear masks outdoors anymore unless they are in a big crowd of strangers. (Gary Coronado / Los Angeles Times)

Experts saying it’s safe to stop wearing masks: Optimism about the extraordinary effectiveness of the COVID-19 vaccines is growing and causing even the most cautious health experts to stop wearing face coverings in more settings. The new confidence comes as an increasing number of studies underscores how effective the vaccines are — at preventing not only severe disease and death, but also infections. And even in the rare cases where vaccinated people get the virus, scientists say they’re far less likely to transmit it. More from the Times here.

More from here & elsewhere

Interest in vaccinations increased after CDC announced new mask guidance (CNN)
Covid devastation in India unites diaspora in relentless grief (NBC News)
Tennessee woman arrested for speeding through COVID-19 vaccination tent in protest (ABC News)
What to know about the vaccine passports already being tested for international travel (USA Today)
A Vaccine Patch Could Someday Be An Ouchless Option (NPR)
‘Mind your own business:’ Florida men assault Hawaii resident after reminder to wear masks (SF Gate)
Mendocino cafe owner says he’ll add an extra $5 fee for mask-wearing patrons (SF Gate)

See you tomorrow as we prep the grills for the long weekend ahead!

Mark Conley
Deputy Managing Editor

Follow Mark Conley on: Twitter, Instagram, Facebook. Mark joins Lookout after 14 years at the Mercury News and Bay Area News Group, where he served as Deputy Sports Editor on a staff that covered three...