COVID 2021

COVID PM: State & county officials see data shift a bit differently

Hello, fine people of Santa Cruz County. Amidst the fear of yet more fire destruction and preparation for a presidential swap-out, there was still news to be had on the COVID-19 front — and it was a mixed bag between what was being said by state and local officials.

Despite a mind-numbing stat — on Tuesday California passed the 3 million mark for coronavirus cases — state officials talked about “rays of hope” given the fact positivity rate has showed some decline.

And while that was also true at the local level, Santa Cruz County Health Officer Gail Newel was far more cautious in her interpretation of that data.

Let’s peel back a few more layers below. Please remember to tell your friends and family to sign up for this newsletter and my text alerts here, or text “Covid” to (831) 508-7524.

Roughly 1 out of 13 Californians have been infected

Cali
(Via Pixabay)

It went from people not knowing anyone who had been infected with the virus, to people at least not knowing anyone who had died from it to, well, most people now knowing some of each. Numbers that came out Tuesday confirm the somewhat shocking prevalence of COVID-19 in the Golden State.

READ THE LA TIMES STORY HERE

Despite state optimism, numbers still grim here, Newel says

Hospital

COVID TODAY: While virtually all COVID-19 statistics improved slightly Tuesday, Newel described the improvements as minuscule at best. She told Lookout that the county recorded 320 new cases in a 24-hour period over the weekend — a record — and that officials are “waiting for that spike in cases to hit the hospitals.”

READ PATRICK RILEY’S UPDATE HERE

The big event is Thursday night — are you signed up?

Event

Newel, UC Santa Cruz infectious disease expert Marm Kilpatrick and Erica Padilla-Chavez, CEO of Pajaro Valley Prevention & Student Assistance, who also is a member of the Pajaro Valley Save Lives team, will headline our free virtual conversation about the health impacts of the pandemic, with Lookout amassing questions for the panelists beforehand through its COVID 2021 initiative. Attendees also can submit questions during the live event on Zoom. Mallory Pickett, Lookout’s lead correspondent covering the pandemic, and Executive Editor Chris Fusco will moderate the panel discussion. For the first time at a Lookout event, we’ll offer simultaneous Spanish interpretation, through a separate Zoom audio channel.
When: Thursday, Jan. 21, 6 p.m.
Where: Register here

More from here & elsewhere

On Trump’s last full day, nation records 400,000 COVID-19 deaths (Kaiser Health News)
Newsom administration gave far less COVID-19 relief cash to smaller communities, audit finds (LA Times)
Vaccine selfies have hit the dating apps in San Francisco (SF Gate)
‘We Must Remember’: Biden, Harris Memorialize COVID-19 Victims (NPR)
Outgoing FDA chief: The agency fought ‘substantial’ pressure under Trump (Politico)
Covid, schools, and the high-stakes experiment no one wanted (Wired)

ICYMI

Doris holding Pop's hand at the end.
(Courtesy the Johnsons)

We’ve had a lot of good coverage around COVID the past week from many different angles. If you missed any of these, here’s your second chance:
They’re testing your what? Wastewater plays growing role in search for COVID-19 countywide (Nick Ibarra & Mallory Pickett)
Tapping the post-pandemic market: Tony & Alba’s owners to launch new Twig’s Tap House (Wallace Baine)
COVID-19, A Love Story: One couple fought the pandemic together — until ‘Pop’ lost the battle (Me)
He escaped the Holocaust but not COVID-19: ‘There were things he still wanted to do,’ says his son (Wallace Baine)

See you tomorrow!

Mark Conley
Deputy Managing Editor