COVID 2021

COVID PM: Inoculating in the rain, slow declines on key metrics continue

Hi, soggy Santa Cruz, I hope you’re surviving our most prolonged rain event of the winter. It didn’t prevent one of the county’s newest vaccination sites from ramping up, as you’ll read more about below.

Nor did it dampen the news that COVID cases continued to decline in Santa Cruz County two days after news that we were joining the rest of California in escaping stay-at-home orders and readjusting to purple-tier restrictions.

Be sure to tell those who should be in the know to sign up for this newsletter and my text alerts here. They can also just text “Covid” to (831) 508-7524.

To keep up with our continuing storm coverage and other big news events, you also can sign up for Lookout’s new Breaking News Text Alerts here, or sign up by texting “Breaking” to (831) 298-8906.

And now on to tonight’s headlines...

Harbor High the latest new vaccine site

COVID-19 vaccinations are now being distributed to eligible Dignity Health/Dominican patients at Harbor High School.
(Kevin Painchaud/Lookout Santa Cruz)

VACCINE WATCH: A spokesperson for Dignity Health confirmed Tuesday that a new clinic delivering COVID-19 vaccinations is now open at Harbor High School, 300 La Fonda Avenue in Santa Cruz. The site is for patients who have a Dignity Health or Dominican primary care physician, and are in Phase 1A (health care workers) or Phase 1B Tier 1 (those over the age of 65) of the state’s vaccination system. For more details about the clinic, go here.

Death toll reaches 143, cases continue to decrease

Nurse Cherry Costales prepares to administer COVID-19 vaccine at St. John's Well Child & Family Center in Los Angeles.

COVID TODAY: Seven new deaths were reported. Active cases decreased again, from 2,319 to 2,118. The 14-day average positivity rate declined slightly, and is now 13.2%. For this and more on how the disease is trending locally, go here.

More from here & elsewhere

California officials ask Blue Shield to oversee statewide COVID-19 vaccination effort (LA Times)
Do pregnancy and COVID-19 vaccines mix? Here’s what the experts say (LA Times)
At Biden Administration’s first COVID-19 briefing, a pledge to let scientists lead (NPR)
Why scientists are very worried about the variant from Brazil (NPR)
Will travelers need a negative COVID-19 test to board flights within the US? (USA Today)
Bay Area school superintendent gets vaccine before some teachers, angering staff (SF Gate)
‘The most basic form of PPE’: 1.6 million households face water shutoffs (CalMatters)
California schools report fewer homeless students, alarming advocates (Ed Source)

ASK LOOKOUT: We answer your questions . . .

Q: I’m 66 years old and high risk to COVID-19 (diabetes, hypertension and spinal injury). Where do I register for a COVID-19 vaccine?

A: The answer to this depends on your health care situation. If you are a patient at any of the health systems in town — Sutter/PAMF, Kaiser Permanente, or Dignity Health/Dominican, you should be able to make a vaccine appointment with them.

Sutter/PAMF: Contact Sutter/PAMF to schedule a vaccination appointment: www.sutterhealth.org/covid-vaccine or call (844) 987-6115
Dignity Health: Message your primary care provider through your patient portal, or call (831) 288-6526 between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m.
Kaiser Permanente: Call Kaiser at (866) 454-8855 or use their online portal https://mydoctor.kaiserpermanente.org/covid-19/covid-19-vaccine to schedule an appointment

If you are uninsured or otherwise can’t get care through a health system, you can receive a vaccine through the county. You will have to wait longer as the county is still vaccinating health care workers, other people in Phase 1A, and those 75 and older. County officials will complete those groups before vaccinating anyone between 65 and 75 — even those with health conditions.

You can sign up to be notified when you are eligible to receive a vaccine through the county with this survey. Read more about who is eligible to receive vaccinations at various county health clinics here.

Have a question for us to try and get answered? Submit it here or just reply to this email.

Stay safe — and dry — and we’ll see you tomorrow!

Mark Conley
Deputy Managing Editor