On Monday, February 22, 2021, at approximately 9:00 a.m. PDT, Governor Gavin Newsom visited a vaccination site in Long Beach to highlight the city’s leadership in administering vaccinations to its residents. The Governor has recently visited mass vaccination and mobile sites in Los Angeles, Hayward, Coachella, San Francisco, Fresno, San Diego and Santa Clara.
To kick off the press conference, Long Beach Mayor Robert Garcia provided introductory remarks. He offered complimentary comments regarding the Newsom Administration and the Governor’s actions to address the pandemic. He also highlighted Long Beach’s vaccination efforts and stated that the City begin immunizing teachers weeks ago. This being the case, today some Long Beach teachers are receiving their second doses of the vaccine. This is noteworthy because vaccinations have become an impasse in the school reopening debate.
By way of background, last week, it was announced that elementary school students in the Long Beach Unified School District will return to campus for in-person instruction on March 29th. See additional information here: https://www.lbschools.net/Asset/Files/District/Coronavirus/School-Reopening-Board-Update-2021-02-17.pdf.
Consistent with other site visits, when Newsom spoke, he addressed the state's ongoing work to ramp up vaccination efforts. California has now administered over 7.4 million vaccines. The state ranks 6th in the world. In the last week, California administered 1.4 million doses of the COVID-19 vaccine and the state is averaging 200,000 shots/day. Statewide, the Governor reported, that the test positivity rate has plummeted from 8 percent to 3 percent over the last 30 days. Hospitalizations rates are also down. “We are making progress, there is not just a light at the end of the tunnel, there is bright light.”
Additionally, the Governor spoke about prioritizing vaccinations for teachers. He acknowledged the City of Long Beach for "not waiting around" to get kids back in school, stating they have vaccinated more teachers than any county. "I encourage that to be replicated around the state..," he said.
Next, Los Angeles County Supervisor Janice Hahn spoke. She praised Newsom’s leadership and said his tough decisions have protected jobs, the economy, and public health. She said the Long Beach vaccination program "has been a model," noting again that the City is vaccinating teachers. State Senator Lena A. Gonzalez offered similar comments in both Spanish and English.
During the Q&A, Newsom said the City of Long Beach has been cited during school negotiations in Sacramento as “an example.”
Newsom also pointed to major Medicaid transformation "CalAIM" when discussing his commitment to reforming public health.
Regarding the limited supply of vaccine doses, the Governor reiterated that vaccine distribution could ramp up in March and April if Johnson & Johnson vaccine could get emergency use authorization this week.
The press conference concluded at approximately 9:40 a.m. PDT.
The California Department of Public Health (CDPH) has announced the most recent statistics on COVID-19. There is now a total of 3,441,946 (+0.2 percent increase) confirmed positive cases and 49,105 (+0.6 percent) deaths in California. As of February 20th, there have been 47,043,348 tests conducted in California and reported to the California Department of Public Health. A total of 7,320,679 vaccines have been administered. More information regarding the most recent COVID-19 statistics can be found here.
Also, on February 19th, CDPH issued new guidance for “Outdoor and Indoor Youth and Recreational Adult Sports.” This guidance applies to all organized youth sports and recreation— including school- and community-sponsored programs, and privately-organized clubs and leagues — and adult recreational sports (hereafter youth and adult sports). This guidance does not apply to collegiate or professional sports. For guidance, please see https://www.cdph.ca.gov/Programs/CID/DCDC/Pages/COVID-19/outdoor-indoor-recreational-sports.aspx.
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