COVID 2021

COVID PM | BREAKING: Groundwork being laid for some students to return to school

It’s Tuesday and we’ve got some breaking news on the local “return-to-in-person-schooling” front:

A concerted effort to get the county’s kindergarten teachers vaccinated on Tuesday may lay the groundwork for a plan to get back to some on-campus schooling before the year is over. Cooperation between the County Office of Education, the majority of the county’s teachers unions and Dignity Health/Dominican has gotten the ball rolling. More below about today’s success and the challenges that remain.

Also, some interesting news came via the Santa Cruz City Council meeting, where we learned that our county ranks ninth out of 58 in terms of vaccine distribution per capita. That will come as a big shock to many readers of this newsletter who have been feeling like little Santa Cruz County was getting short shrift with vaccine allocation.

Luckily there have been some recent breakthroughs on the 65-and-up front — and we’ve taken some updated info from the county and provided what we hope is an up-to-date cheatsheet for where to get vaccinated.

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 the headlines...

Key step taken on the path to return

Teachers

BREAKING NEWS: Lookout learned Tuesday that a team effort by the County Office of Education, a coalition of county teachers unions and Dignity Health/Dominican to get kindergarten teachers and staff vaccinated has helped pave the way for serious talk about a return to on-campus learning at the youngest elementary grades. Nick Ibarra and Patrick Riley have the complete story for you here.

We’re No. 9

Syringes at the Marin County Vaccination Point of Dispensary on Jan. 8, 2021. Photo courtesy of County of Marin

COVID TODAY: Santa Cruz County continues to see decreases in case totals, positivity rates and hospitalizations, yet another sign that COVID-19 is ebbing. Meanwhile, the county ranks ninth-highest in California in terms of vaccine distribution, with 14,608 doses administered per 100,000 residents, according to a slide displayed at a Santa Cruz City Council meeting today. That and more rounded up by Tulsi Kamath and friends here.

Getting vaccinated in the 831 — the latest 101 guide

vaccine
(Via Pixabay)

VACCINE WATCH: In an effort to provide Santa Cruz County residents more clarity, the county provided a breakdown of all the places a person may go to receive vaccine doses. Tulsi rounded that up in one convenient place right here. Please let us know if you are aware of any others that should be included.

More from here & elsewhere

A look at teacher vaccination around the state: Much is being determined by location, luck (CalMatters)
First doses of COVID-19 vaccine have become limited in California. When will that change? (LA Times)
As mass-vaccination site launches at Levi’s Stadium, Newsom decries lack of supply (LA Times)
Possible legislative deal over teacher vaccines could bring elementary students back to class statewide (LA Times)
North Carolina players, team managers issue apology for celebrating Duke win without masks (ESPN)
For these tipped workers, $15 minimum wage is a matter of COVID-19 survival (USA Today)

ASK LOOKOUT: We answer your questions...

Q: My husband works in a food industry (Sunridge Farms). Is he eligible to get the Covid vaccine yet? — Marisol C
A: He is technically eligible now under the sectors of Phase 1B (workers in education, childcare, food & agriculture, fire, law enforcement, emergency services) but there is limited supply of vaccine and those 65-and-over still have priority locally. The link here might help clarify when he can get vaccinated.

Q: I’m over 65. Were do I go to get the vaccine. Thank you. — Junior R
A: Go to the latest updates provided by the county here and look through the options based upon whether you have insurance or not. Readers have been telling us that Sutter/PAMF will give appointments to those 65+ whether they are patients of there’s or not — though many of those have been several hours outside the county.

Q: Will be 69 at the end of March, dealing with cancer, can’t get an appointment. Tried Sutter, can I try any place in Santa Cruz? — Linda M
A: Go to the latest updates provided by the county here and keep trying Sutter’s website, especially if you’re willing and able to travel a distance for the vaccine.

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

See you on Wednesday, everybody!

Mark Conley
Deputy Managing Editor