COVID Dashboard: UCSC drops mask mandate; second boosters widely available

A man receives a COVID booster shot at a drive through clinic
(Irfan Khan / Los Angeles Times)
An graphic image for the Lookout COVID Dashboard

News of the week

Sunday marked the end of UC Santa Cruz’s indoor mask mandate, though the campus still highly recommends their use. Masks are still required on campus public transportation, in the Early Education Services centers, and in clinical settings.

Countywide, cases have increased by 67, up to 495 from last week’s 428. No new deaths were reported in the past week.

Your best bet for scheduling an appointment for second boosters is at local pharmacies including Rite-Aid, CVS and Walgreens. Kaiser Permanente is offering appointments at its Scotts Valley and Watsonville facilities, and Sutter Health is awaiting vaccine shipments. Accessibility among health care providers is a bit limited at this time, but they expect accessibility to increase in the near future.

Check our links below for quick access to the relevant websites.

Masking rules

Neither the state of California nor Santa Cruz County currently requires indoor masking. For county public schools, as of March 11, masks are optional though highly recommended.

As of April 10, masks are not required for most indoor settings at UC Santa Cruz facilities, though highly recommended. Masks will still be required for on-campus public transportation, in the Early Education Services centers, and in clinical settings.

The latest numbers

How does Santa Cruz compare to California and the U.S. in vaccinations? Where are the most current COVID cases in the county, and how does that compare to population? Here is the most recent data.

As of Monday, there were 495 active cases as logged by the county. This does not include unreported rapid tests taken at home, so this number is not exact.

No new deaths were added to the county dashboard since last week, keeping the pandemic total at 259.

14-day average, data as of April 5.
(Santa Cruz County Health Services Agency)

Where can I find a vaccine?

At this point, vaccines are largely available across the county. They are free for everyone, whether insured or not.

As of March 31, second booster shots are available to people aged 50 and older as well as people 12 and older who are immunocompromised or who have received Johnson & Johnson as their primary series and booster doses.

Rite-Aid, CVS, Horsnyder Pharmacy, Westside Pharmacy and Walgreens are currently offering second boosters.

Those wanting to get the shot through their primary care provider should check the company’s website, as availability may vary.

Health care providers

You can schedule appointments for initial doses and booster shots. Below are the local health care providers that offer the vaccine.

Kaiser Permanente
866-454-8855
Sutter/Palo Alto Medical Foundation
844-987-6115
Dignity Health
831-288-6526
CruzMedMo
831-241-7501
Emeline Health Center
831-454-4100

Drugstores and supermarkets

Most pharmacies in the county have COVID-19 vaccines appointments available well into the future. Click the pharmacy of your choice to schedule an appointment.

Safeway
Rite-Aid
CVS
Walgreens
Costco
Horsnyder Pharmacy & Medical Supply
Westside Pharmacy

Getting tested

The sites below offer free PCR tests via LHI.care. Turnaround is typically three to five days.

Mountain Community Resources
6134 Hwy. 9, Felton
Depot Freight Building
119 Center St., Santa Cruz
Watsonville Testing Site
500 Westridge Dr., Watsonville

The table below lists additional testing resources in Santa Cruz County. However, almost all require appointments.