Vaccine eligibility widens in local counties
This past week El Dorado County COVID-19 cases have stayed below 20 new cases each day.
Over the last weekend the county saw 19 new cases, however only three were in South Lake Tahoe area.
The county’s positivity rate has remained the same throughout the week at 2.7%, but the health equity quartile positivity rate dropped down to 2.5%.
Both of these metrics fall within the metric of the orange tier of the state’s Blueprint for a Safer Economy, except the adjusted case rate which is still in the red metric at 4.7.
El Dorado County continues to remain in the red tier which means indoor dining is allowed at 25% capacity, gyms are allowed to operate at 10% capacity, and retailers are open at 50% capacity.
“We’re not sure when we might move forward in tiers, but we are going in the right direction to get us there,” said Carla Hass, El Dorado County communications director in an email.
Hass said that because we have to achieve the rate for two consecutive weeks before moving, it could be a possibility in the next couple weeks if numbers stay as they are.
For more information about what it means for the county to be in the red tier go online to covid19.ca.gov/safer-economy.
There were no new deaths reported Wednesday, but on Tuesday there were two, one in the Greater Placerville area and one in Cameron Park. The county has had 107 residents succumb to the virus since the beginning of the pandemic.
Currently, there are two hospitalizations with no COVID patients in intensive care.
More El Dorado County residents are becoming eligible for the vaccine. On Monday, the county announced another group of people will be eligible for the vaccine which now includes high-risk individuals who are between the ages of 16-64, transit workers and those who are homeless.
While eligibility continues to open, appointments are still based on vaccine supply.
The upcoming vaccine clinic on Sunday and Monday in South Lake Tahoe is already completely booked, but Hass said they are planning more in the upcoming weeks.
To be notified when your phase is eligible and when an appointment is available, sign up for an alert at myturn.ca.gov.
For more information about the vaccine or phases, visit edcgov.us.
There are a total of 55,795 Californians who have died from the virus since the beginning of the pandemic. The state has 3,002 COVID-19 positive patients hospitalized with 778 in the ICU. Over 3.5 million Californians have tested positive for the virus.
On Wednesday, Washoe County announced 13 additional confirmed cases of the UK variant. The first confirmed case was linked to a large gathering and was confirmed on March 12.
The other cases of the variant have been linked to close contact with an infectious case while traveling, a cluster from a youth sports club, and another cluster had attended school while infectious.
“It [the variant] is a concern because it is more transmissible and deadly,” Washoe County District Health Officer Kevin Dick said during during a press conference on Thursday. “It is not a surprise that it is here. The vaccines available do appear to be quite effective against this variant.”
Dick urges residents to remain careful to prevent a surge and more closures.
Washoe county continues to see new cases hover around 40 new cases everyday. On Wednesday, the county reported 34 new cases and one additional death.
The county also remains at a 5% test positivity rate. Dick said that the county remains in a strong plateau and new cases along with test positivity rate, but neither seem to be heading down which he referred to as a “steady state.”
Currently, 58% of staffed hospital beds are occupied which is down 11% from last week. About 35% of all intensive care unit beds are in use which is also down from last week. There are nine individuals in the ICU.
“We would like to remind everyone that we are still in the middle of the pandemic,” said Washoe County Health District and COVID-19 Response Operations Team Member James English. “We do not want to go backwards.”
Despite the plateua, per the Governor’s Roadmap to Reopening, Washoe County businesses saw restrictions loosen as capacity limits increased on Monday.
The following were all allowed to increase capacity to 50% or 250 individuals (whichever comes sooner):
-food and beverage establishments including restaurants, bars, pubs, wineries distilleries and breweries
-libraries, museums, art galleries, aquariums and zoos
-retail stores and indoor malls
-medicinal and recreational cannabis establishments
-places of worship
-gyms and fitness studios
-arcades, racetracks, amusement and theme parks
Washoe County has administered 160, 282 vaccines as of Wednesday. A bit over 13% of the entire counties population is now fully vaccinated.
Nevada Gov. Steve Sisolak also announced two vaccine updates on Wednesday. Starting March 22, all Nevadans aged 16 and older with underlying health conditions including cancer, diabetes and lung diseases, among many others will be eligible for the vaccine through the Retail Pharmacy Program.
Starting on April 5, every Nevadan aged 16 and older will be eligible to schedule vaccination appointments statewide. English said that the county will continue to place an emphasis on seniors even with the opening of eligibility.
The county health district is also working with local cities and jurisdictions to implement a plan that will be communicated to the county in April for when the transition to local government authority is planned to take place in May.
In Incline Village, 426 total cases have been reported and 43 remain active. Crystal Bay has no active cases.
Douglas County reported four additional cases on Wednesday. There are no residents in the ICU, but there are five COVID-19 hospitalizations and has had 33 cumulative COVID-19 related deaths in the county.
Carson City has had no new deaths this week. In total 116 Carson City residents have succumbed to the virus.Carson City has 2 patients in the ICU and there are six COVID-19 hospitalizations.
There are a total of 5,157 Nevadans who have died from the virus since the beginning of the pandemic.The state has 331 residents hospitalized with 77 in the ICU.
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