COVID PM: Lots of new virus, vaccine information to process
Happy Friday, everyone!
It was a day of drawing back the curtains on our county’s — and nation’s — health crisis. If you weren’t already familiar with the names, faces, voices and opinions of Dr. Gail Newel, Dr. David Ghilarducci and Dr. Mimi Hall, a rare Zoom gathering Friday provided essential one-stop processing. You can watch their one-hour press conference here, as well as read our cheatsheet of the main takeaways.
Be sure to tell your friends and family to sign up for this newsletter and my text alerts here, or text “Covid” to (831) 508-7524.
To the news of the day . . .
Everything we learned from Friday’s press conference...
From the extended holiday surges and breakouts to an ICU capacity that has hovered around 0% since Thanksgiving to the so-called “four-legged stool” that will dictate who gets the vaccine and where, it was a busy hour spent with the top health officials in Santa Cruz County.
Explaining the ‘four-legged stool’ and how you can get ‘in line’
VACCINE WATCH: Vaccines in California are being distributed through four different channels. The channel your vaccine comes through will mostly depend on your job, insurance status, and living situation. Our Mallory Pickett breaks down what you need to know about each.
Newel laments ‘higher than we’ve ever seen’ virus cases
COVID TODAY: Newel, the county’s health officer, didn’t mince words on Friday. She said this week’s COVID-19 data in Santa Cruz, “surprised even me with its severity, it’s higher than we’ve ever seen.” We’re at 3,000-plus active cases, though there is one positive sign . . .
More from here & elsewhere
➤ Biden to deploy FEMA, National Guard as part of national vaccination plan (NBC News)
➤ Daily COVID-19 death count soars to new heights in California (LA Times)
➤ They’re the most likely to die from COVID-19, but hardly any have been vaccinated (LA Times)
➤ Some workers don’t want a COVID-19 vaccine. Can their bosses make them get it anyway? (LA Times)
➤ Newsom opens one-stop Covid information ‘hub’ on reopening schools (EdSource)
➤ We wanted to know how couples are faring under COVID-19. These are their love tales (LA Times)
➤ Could TV writers help curb the pandemic? This group thinks so (LA Times)
ASK LOOKOUT: We answer your questions . . .
Q: Is it true that even after you have received the 2-shot vaccination for COVID19, you may still infect others if you have been exposed to someone with COVID? — Sandor Nagyszalanczy
A: Because the vaccine trial period was so short, they just don’t have enough data to say for sure. BUT there are reasons to be hopeful. The FDA says “Most vaccines that protect from viral illnesses also reduce transmission of the virus that causes the disease by those who are vaccinated. While it is hoped this will be the case, the scientific community does not yet know if the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine will reduce such transmission.” Apparently there are some results from the Moderna and AstraZeneca trials that suggest they might protect against transmission. This article provides a great overview.
Next Thursday: Our Covid 2021 event
What: A free community conversation about COVID-19 with top health experts, hosted by Lookout
When: Thursday, Jan. 21, 6 p.m.
Where: Lookout will offer simultaneous Spanish interpretation, through a separate Zoom audio channel. Register here
Have a great MLK weekend & play it safe out there, everybody!
Deputy Managing Editor