COVID 2021

COVID PM: Updates on outdoor masking & why we’re stuck in the orange tier

Happy Tuesday, everyone — it was an eventful day at both the national and local levels so here’s what we know:

OUTDOOR MASKING: The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention loosened up its interpretation on what’s acceptable and what’s not Tuesday.
NO YELLOW FOR US? Santa Cruz County’s plans to open things up a bit more in the least-restrictive yellow tier got postponed Tuesday.
THAT FOOD EVENT: If you aren’t in the mix for our ‘Santa Cruz Eats’ event just yet, it’s time to get in the mix.

And now to the headlines...

New guidance on outdoor masking

A Gateway student plants in the school garden.
(Kevin Painchaud/Lookout Santa Cruz)

COVID TODAY: Outdoor activities are safe without masks — regardless of whether a person is vaccinated — as long as people are either alone or with immediate family members, the CDC said Tuesday. And fully vaccinated people can gather safely outdoors without masks in small groups. The new guidance is part of an update from the agency on what activities are safest for Americans, depending on whether they are fully vaccinated; that is, those who are two weeks out from their last dose of COVID-19 vaccine. More from NBC News on that here.

What, no yellow tier after all?

Venus' all-too-brief foray into indoor dining.
(Crystal Birns/For Lookout Santa Cruz)

COVID TODAY: Santa Cruz County just barely missed the requirement for moving into the state’s least restrictive tier of COVID-19 regulations Tuesday. A small increase in cases has set the county back at least two weeks from a move from the current orange tier to the yellow tier, state health officials said Tuesday. Mallory Pickett with the details here.

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COVID INEQUITY: Pandemic Imperiled Non-English Speakers More Than Others (Kaiser Health News)
COVID EDUCATION: California’s largest community college district still deciding whether to require vaccines (EdSource)
COVID K-12: What President Biden’s recovery plan for families means for California’s children (EdSource)
COVID POLITICS: Biden’s coronavirus success threatened by political divisions he pledged to heal (LA Times)

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More from here & elsewhere

Plane
(Via Pixabay)

The truth about what it’s like to fly on a plane right now (SF Gate)
Miami private school won’t employ teachers who get the Covid-19 vaccine (NBC News)
Gas stations could run out of gas this summer (CNN)
Brazil’s Bolsonaro faces government probe into his handling of Covid-19 (CNN)
Pfizer’s new at-home pill to treat Covid could be available by end of the year, CEO hopes (CNBC)
You Don’t Have To Suffer To Benefit From COVID Vaccination — But Some Prefer It (NPR)
Hawaii’s rental car shortage is so bad tourists are renting U-Hauls (SF Gate)

The big dining event is May 4

SC Eats

Santa Cruz Eats!” is part of Lookout’s COVID 2021 series, a special initiative to do deep reporting and community engagement on the pandemic — and economic recovery.

Damani Thomas, owner and chef at Oswald; Brad Briske, co-owner and chef of HOME in Soquel; and Gema Cruz, chef at Gabriella Cafe, will join Lookout for a virtual conversation at 6 p.m. on Tuesday, May 4, hosted by Lookout food contributor Amber Turpin and me.

Click here to register for this awesome, FREE event.

See y’all Wednesday.

Mark Conley
Deputy Managing Editor