COVID 2021

COVID PM EXCLUSIVE: 30K vaccines have been distributed here; counties voice unrest

Hello, everyone, there is no shortage of vaccine-related information today — which is something that has never been uttered in this space before — and it’s topping our most robust COVID PM newsletter ever. Let’s get right to the intriguing headlines:

Santa Cruz County officials & others: ‘Enough already’

Vaccine decisions.
(Via Pixabay)

EXCLUSIVE: The public health chiefs of eight Bay Area counties, including Santa Cruz County, decried the scarcity of COVID-19 vaccines in a joint statement on the same day we’re learning that state officials have delivered on their promise of a statewide vaccine dashboard — one that shows that 30,000-plus vaccine doses have been distributed throughout Santa Cruz County. Our Tulsi Kamath and Mallory Pickett connect the dots on these big events here.

What will Oakland site mean for Santa Cruz?

California Gov. Gavin Newsom in Oakland on Wednesday.
(LA Times)

COVID TODAY: Gov. Gavin Newsom announced two new vaccination clinics today, in a partnership between the state and the federal government. The sites, located in Los Angeles and Oakland, will be staffed mostly by federal workers from FEMA and the Department of Health and Human Services. The Oakland site will be located at the Oakland Coliseum, and there are no residency or insurance requirements, meaning any Santa Cruz County residents currently eligible for vaccination can go there . . . but there’s a hitch. More details from Mallory Pickett about that here.

Farmworkers get started with vaccine

Vaccinations got done in Watsonville on Wednesday via a partnership between Dignity Health and the Farm Bureau.
(Kevin Painchaud / Lookout Santa Cruz)

VACCINE WATCH: 500 agricultural workers from the county took advantage of a joint vaccination effort at Casserly Grange Hall in Watsonville. It left local officials optimistic after seeing how many signed up quickly and that there were “thousands more” that expressed interest. More coverage on that here.

COVID’s effects on the Pajaro Valley

Farmworkers pick strawberries in 2019.
(USDA photo by Lance Cheung)

COVID SOUTH COUNTY: What are the long-term effects of the pandemic and the virus on the Latinx community in South County? What are the challenges of vaccinating farmworkers? Did pre-existing inequities result in South County being disproportionately impacted by COVID-19 and the pandemic? Here’s what two local experts had to say recently.

Sweet, sweet distraction

Enzo's delicious treats await.
(Kevin Painchaud/Lookout Santa Cruz)

COVID ECONOMY: People kept telling Crescenzo Pelliccia, aka Chef Enzo, that Santa Cruz was no Los Gatos. But the Italian who has grown to love his adopted beach town wasn’t about to look at us like a commoner’s dessert paradise, a place that wouldn’t support his “sugart” during a pandemic. “Why do I have to keep it simple? Let’s give the people of Santa Cruz the freedom to decide if something’s too fancy. Now, it’s a bet. I might fail miserably. I might succeed. But I want to try.” Wallace Baine got the fun, sugary assignment.

More from here & elsewhere

Schools can safely move to reopen even if teachers are not all vaccinated, Newsom says (LA Times)
Teachers have lost colleagues to Covid-19 and worry about being next. But, they say, no one’s listening (CNN)
Sean Penn fires back at criticism over his COVID-19 vaccine site: ‘Betrayal of all’ (SF Gate)
A teen fell into a 10-month coma before the pandemic. Now he’s waking up in a new world (CNN)
Olympic organizers hope evolving ‘playbook’ for COVID-19 will unlock Tokyo Games (LA Times)
In Philadelphia, a scandal erupts over vaccination startup led by 22-year-old (Kaiser Health News)
Florida forward Keyontae Johnson’s collapse unrelated to COVID-19, family says (ESPN)
5 Hacks And Tips To Make Your Face Mask More Protective (NPR)

#BOLO

Thursday’s weekly county press conference on all things COVID-19 and vaccine will be all the more intriguing given Wednesday’s news events. We’ll send out a link at 2 p.m. Be On the Lookout for that.

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.

Let’s all hope for as much vaccine news tomorrow!

Mark Conley
Deputy Managing Editor