COVID: Five Things You Need to Know 04/02/21

Today is April 2nd, 2021 and here are the top five things you need to know about COVID-19.

P.S. – Are you curious about how SVLG and our member companies stepped up over the last year as the pandemic hit home? Take a look at the “Year in Review” I wrote here. 

First, the Leadership Group successfully advocated with a number of member companies and community partners for an equitable vaccine rollout in the State. When the State announced its equity formula that reserved 40% of vaccines for communities hardest hit by the pandemic, there was concern among advocates and elected leaders in the Bay Area that the zip code-based formula left out other communities in need. Bay Area leaders recommended using census tracts as the basis to better reflect the need in the Bay Area. Thanks to the work of the Legislature’s Bay Area delegation led by Senator Cortese, the nine Bay Area counties are now receiving $7.6 million in funds to expand vaccination sites and staffing in those hard hit areas of the region. While there is still a push from Bay Area advocates for the formula to use census tracts, the funding will help get vaccines to the hardest hit communities. 

Second, adults aged 50 or older are now eligible to receive a Covid-19 vaccine in California. Vaccines eligibility will be opened up to all adults in California on April 15th. Due to this change the State is no longer using the phasing system that prioritized Californians by age and occupation. While this is a welcome change, it is expected appointments will be difficult to come by as a wave of eligible Californians and low vaccine supply will slow down the ability for healthcare workers to give shots. Please have patience with the system in the initial few weeks. 

Third, just as California’s adults become eligible for a vaccine, the country grapples with an uptick in positive Covid-19 cases. President Biden announced on Monday that the uptick is due to a rise in Americans becoming relaxed about distancing and wearing masks as a number of States ease Covid-19 restrictions. The President urged Americans to stay steadfast with these practices and made a compelling argument for why Americans should get vaccinated. The rise in cases is predominantly outside of California, though the decline in Covid-19 positive cases in the State has plateaued in recent weeks. 

Fourth, due to the low transmission of Covid-19 in the State many Bay Area counties are rapidly reopening. This includes all of the Bay Area counties moving to the orange tier where many activities may reopen indoors at 50% capacity. Expect more movement in the coming weeks as adults receive their first dose of a Covid-19 vaccine. Due to these rapid changes the Leadership Group is monitoring various reopening plans for offices in the Bay Area. 

And fifth, a trial of the Pfizer-BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine was performed with children aged 12-15 and found the vaccine to be 100% effective. Over 2,200 children across the US participated in the trial. However, like other authorized vaccines, the Pfizer-BioNTech shot hasn’t yet been cleared for use in adolescents under 16 years of age. Covid-19 is less deadly to children than the virus is to adults, but it is still recommended by the CDC that children wear masks, social distance, and wash their hands often to prevent infection. 

The next installment of 5 Things You Need To Know About COVID-19 will come out in two weeks on Tuesday, April 13, 2021. In the meantime if you have questions or comments regarding SVLG’s COVID-19 work please reach out to me at [email protected]. Thank you and stay safe.

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April 2, 2021

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