COVID 2021

COVID PM: We’re livestreaming Newsom at 6, fuzzy equity system math and (oh yeah) back to the red tier we go

Our weekday evening look at the day’s COVID-19 developments, both here in Santa Cruz County and beyond, compiled by Lookout Deputy Managing Editor Mark Conley.

Hey, it’s been a newsy Tuesday already and we haven’t even gotten to several key late meetings in Santa Cruz and Watsonville. So for now, this is what we know ...

WATCH LIVE: We’re broadcasting Gov. Gavin Newsom’s “State of the State” speech live at 6 p.m. It’s expected to have a pandemic focus. Watch it here.
➤ The county is officially back in the red tier as of Wednesday.
➤ The statewide vaccine equity system is battling a math problem.
➤ Some vaccine clinic volunteers have been able to get shots themselves if extra vaccine needed to be used; that will remain an “if you luck out” situation here for now.
➤ 10% of the county has now been fully vaccinated.

More on all of that below. After you get done watching the gov, hope you can make the virtual book event with Kevin Painchaud, Wallace Baine and Shmuel Thaler at 7 p.m. tonight.

'2020 Hindsight' a photo and essay book edited by Shmuel Thaler
(Kevin Painchaud / Lookout Santa Cruz)

SPEAKING OF THAT BOOK: From wildfires to civil unrest to pandemic, 2020 was painful, but memorable. Lookout, born on Nov. 20, 2020, was there for the tail end of it, but here’s our chance to help you catch up on the entire year. Become an annual Lookout member and get a free, signed copy of “2020 Hindsight.” Click here and use the code HINDSIGHT2020 to get in on the offer, which ends Wednesday night. NOTE: This offer applies to new memberships only.

To those headlines...

More than ready for a return to the red

Santa Cruz County's lucky number on Tuesday was 6.7.

COVID TODAY: Tuesday marked the latest tier shift for Santa Cruz County, as COVID data pushed things back into the red. Beginning Wednesday, restaurants and theaters can reopen indoor service at 25% capacity, gyms at 10%. Other reappearances looming include high school football and live music. Mallory Pickett and I rounded up the red-tier news here.

‘Healthy Places Index’ has some math problems

Covid 19 vaccine vocab_LA_thmb

VACCINE WATCH: When Newsom announced a plan to allocate 40% of vaccines to the most disadvantaged communities, as measured by the state’s “Healthy Places Index,” local health officials applauded the change. Now, it appears that because of a quirk in how the state is deciding which areas qualify for the targeted allocations, Santa Cruz County, and other Bay Area counties, are left out entirely. More on what went wrong and whether it can be fixed here.

Volunteering in exchange for a shot not a sure-thing here ... yet

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

VACCINE WATCH: California is making it easier for people to get the COVID-19 vaccine by volunteering at COVID-19 vaccine clinics, but for now Santa Cruz County is not following suit. While some volunteers in Santa Cruz County have been able to get inoculated, it hasn’t been a guarantee. More from Mallory and the LA Times on that here.

COVID WATCH: Amidst all of Tuesday’s other news, came this: About 30,000 of the 96,921 vaccines administered in the county have been second doses, meaning over 10% of the county is fully vaccinated. More on that and other key data points of the day here from Mallory.

More from here & elsewhere

Flooded with line cutters from Hollywood and media, Pasadena cancels COVID vaccine clinic (LA Times)
California and Florida took vastly different approaches to COVID-19. Here’s how it turned out (SF Gate)
Covid relief package marks a shift in US battle against poverty (CNN)
Here’s how many vaccine doses California says it’s wasting (SF Gate)
Looking for a COVID-19 vaccine? This website may text you when a vaccine is about to go unused (USA Today)
Tracking the coronavirus’s evolution, letter by letter, is revolutionizing pandemic science. (The Atlantic)
Despite lack of data, Mexico bets heavily on Chinese-made COVID-19 vaccines (LA Times)
Unwelcome deja-vu in northern Italy: A hospital is overrun with COVID-19 patients (LA Times)

ASK LOOKOUT: We answer your questions . . .

The following question arose from an LA Times story on the safety of working out at a gym.

Q: Instructors yelling loudly with no mask on can be dangerous, right?

A: Short answer, yes. A recent report published by the CDC found 21 coronavirus cases last summer that were linked to a 37-year-old fitness instructor in Honolulu. In one of the instructor’s classes — a high-intensity stationary cycling class for 10 participants — all 10 later tested positive for the coronavirus and became sick with COVID-19. No one wore masks in the class, whose participants ranged in age from 31 to 50. That instructor’s “shouting throughout the one-hour stationary cycling class might have contributed to transmission,” the report said. “Aerosol emission during speech has been correlated with loudness, and COVID-19 outbreaks related to intense physical activity and singing have been previously reported.” That class occurred just four hours before the 37-year-old fitness instructor started feeling ill. The virus was transmitted even though the stationary bicycles were spaced more than six feet apart, the report said.

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

See you tomorrow!

Mark Conley
Deputy Managing Editor