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COVID: Five Things You Need to Know 2/1/21

It is Monday, February 1st 2021 and here are 5 Things You Need To Know About COVID-19.

First, Governor Newsom announced last Thursday, January 28th that member company Blue Shield of California will take over the state vaccination distribution network. The change moves to coordinate distribution efforts across the state in contrast to the current system of having individual County Public Health Departments distribute COVID-19 vaccines. This is in direct response to how slow the vaccine rollout has been to date in California. Many questions are currently unanswered but will be answered in the coming weeks as the transition is made. 

Second, earlier last week Governor Newsom announced a new vaccine prioritization framework that focuses on age rather than chronic health conditions or occupation based concerns. The next priority group for COVID-19 vaccinations is to include teachers, childcare workers, food and farm workers and first responders along with those over age 65. After this group the State’s priority groups will include those aged 50 and older. This change is expected to occur in mid-to-late February in an effort to vaccinate those at the most risk for health complications due to COVID-19. 

Third, the statewide stay-at-home order was lifted last Monday, moving most California counties to the purple tier. Following the state’s tiered system, the purple tier allows for restaurants to open outdoors, personal care services to begin again indoors and outdoors, and allows for minimum basic business operations in most counties. The use of masks, social distancing, and other COVID-19 safe practices are still in place and are still important in keeping each of us safe and healthy. 

Fourth, the federal travel ban has been reimposed. Travelers coming from South Africa, Brazil, the United Kingdom, and many European countries are no longer able to enter the country as of Saturday, January 30th. President Biden reimposed and extended the travel ban that was already in place in an effort to curb the spread of COVID-19 with consideration to the new strains found across the globe. 

And fifth, hear directly from the California Department of Public Health when it is your turn for a COVID-19 vaccine. CDPH announced last week the launch of MyTurn.ca.gov, a pilot website where you are able to sign up and receive a notification when it is your turn to receive a vaccination. You will still need to check with your healthcare provider or County health department to see if there are vaccines available to you in your area. 

The next installment of 5 Things You Need To Know About COVID-19 will come out in two weeks on Tuesday, February 16th, 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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