On Thursday, March 4th, 2021, at approximately 11:45 a.m. PDT, Governor Gavin Newsom was in San Joaquin County to discuss the state’s focus on addressing COVID-19 health inequities in disproportionally impacted communities as part of the pandemic response.
Previous to the press conference the Newsom Administration announced that the state will set aside 40 percent of vaccine doses for the hardest-hit communities and established a vaccine equity metric – which seeks to increase vaccinations in those communities – as a prelude to adjusting the Blueprint for a Safer Economy. Specifically, the modification will shift Blueprint tier thresholds to allow slightly higher case rates per 100,000 population once more inoculations have occurred in the communities suffering the most, allowing counties to move to less restrictive tiers. Additional information can be found here: https://www.gov.ca.gov/2021/03/04/california-leads-with-public-health-and-vaccine-equity-to-safely-and-sustainably-reopen/.
To kick off today’s event, Stockton Mayor Kevin Lincoln provided introductory remarks. Assemblymember Carlos Villapudua and Senator Susan Talamantes Eggman were among those present at the press conference who provided remarks. They both offered complimentary comments regarding the Governor’s actions to address the pandemic.
When the Governor took the podium, he addressed the latest COVID-19 figures. California’s 7-day positivity rate has fallen to 2.1 percent, the lowest in four months, he reported. Additionally, hospitalizations are down 41 percent and ICU cases are down 43 percent. Further, in the last seven days, 224,000 doses of vaccines have been administered. Nearly 10 million total.
In more detail, Newsom spoke about mass vaccination sites and this morning’s announcement to focus on “the hardest-hit communities.” He said the new vaccine equity plan will help California better “meet the moment.” As noted above, under the new system, California will earmark 40 percent of its COVID-19 vaccine doses for low-income communities spread out across 400 of the state’s ZIP codes, largely in Los Angeles County, the Inland Empire, and the Central Valley. Newsom acknowledged the complexities of the issue in discussing the state's shift in vaccine/reopening strategy. Also notable – the Governor’s office has confirmed neither Newsom nor the First Partner has been vaccinated.
Finally, the Governor stated that at least four states have “bad plans” for reopening and that California will not go down a rushed path. The state’s approach will continue to focus on masking and effective use of testing, contact tracing, quarantine, and isolation. Today, the Newsom Administration also updated its recommendations about the most effective use of masks and when to consider double masking. “With more vaccines online and administered, California is now in a position to take steps toward ending this pandemic by keeping our guard up and by vaccinating those Californians most at risk and most exposed,” said Newsom.
During the Q&A, Newsom was asked about the vaccination access codes. The Governor said the state is being careful to provide personalized codes to people, as opposed to one code for many, to address misuse/sharing of codes to those who are not eligible to book vaccine appointments.
When asked, Governor Newsom said he does not have details on the settlement on youth sports out of San Diego today.
Governor Newsom and Dr. Mark Ghaly also said there will be more outdoor activities allowed in the red tier. However, they did not offer specifics.
The press conference concluded at approximately 12:14 p.m. PDT.
The California Department of Public Health (CDPH) has announced the most recent statistics on COVID-19. There is now a total of 3,484,963 (+0.1 percent increase) confirmed positive cases and 52,775 (+0.5 percent) deaths in California. As of March 2nd, there have been 49,028,048 tests conducted in California and reported to the California Department of Public Health. A total of 9,458,722 vaccines have been administered. More information regarding the most recent COVID-19 statistics can be found here.
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