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California adds vacation incentive to spur vaccinations

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — California will offer six “dream vacation” incentives to spur more people to get coronavirus vaccinations, Gov. Gavin Newsom said Monday on the eve of the state awarding of $15 million in cash prizes.

Aside from boosting California’s vaccination rate as it lifts most pandemic restrictions Tuesday, the latest promotion aims to jump-start the Golden State’s travel and tourism industry after more than a year in virtual hibernation because of stay-at-home orders and travel restrictions.

The tourism industry “had a sledgehammer taken to it,” Newsom said.

Tourism revenues nose-dived from a record $145 billion in 2019 to $65 billion last year as California enacted some of the nation’s toughest restrictions.

But Newsom said it’s safe to return as the state of nearly 40 million people boasts among the nation’s lowest virus transmission rates.

In San Francisco, 80% of eligible city residents have received at least one dose of vaccine, and nearly 70% are fully vaccinated, becoming the first major American city to hit that threshold, Mayor London Breed said Monday.

Newsom spoke in San Francisco, site of one of the six vacation packages offered by various donors through Visit California, the state’s nonprofit travel promotion arm.

Others will include Anaheim in Orange County, Los Angeles, San Diego and at a luxury hotel in Palm Springs. Newsom hastily added that he has never visited the luxury hotel, a caveat that comes after he was widely criticized for patronizing an exclusive Napa Valley restaurant during the pandemic.

Goodies in the package include floor seats at an NBA game with the LA Lakers, and tickets to Disneyland, Legoland, SeaWorld and a symphony, he said.

They are among “a series of spectacular items and packages and experiences, including culinary experiences, that really highlight the best of California,” Newsom said.

Visit California will also provide each winner with $2,000 in travel money, Newsom said.

Californians who are at least 18 years old who are at least partially vaccinated are eligible for the drawing.

Newsom is also proposing $95 million in state funding to help a hospitality and tourism sector that at one point during the pandemic he said lost nearly half its 1.2 million jobs. The investment could speed the resumption of more than 300,000 jobs within a year, he projected.

Caroline Beteta, president and CEO of Visit California, said California is perceived to be less ready for tourism than other states, in particular Florida, because it enacted more safeguards that Newsom and other officials said were worth it both for the economy and the health of Californians.

She predicted it will take another four years for California to fully recover, particularly because business and convention travel is expected to take more time to return.

Meanwhile, Newsom said he expects California’s workplace regulators this week will allow employees to “self-attest” that they have been vaccinated.

Fully vaccinated employees would not need to wear masks under rules to be considered Thursday by the California Occupational Safety and Health Standards Board. Newsom said he will then issue an executive order putting those regulations into effect immediately, bypassing a normal 10-day legal review.

The methods of employer verification aren’t spelled out in the draft regulations released Friday.

But the board’s staff confirmed Monday that employers would have options, including requiring workers to show proof of vaccination; requiring everyone to remain masked, vaccinated or not; or allowing employees to self-attest to their vaccination status, with the employer keeping a record of who self-attests.

“Self-attestation is a necessary option to help businesses — particularly small businesses — avoid getting into the murky waters of attempting to verify vaccinations when workers may have lost their vaccine cards,” said Robert Moutrie, a policy advocate at the California Chamber of Commerce.

Monday’s new prize announcement adds to a weekslong effort to entice those reluctant to get the vaccines to do so.

Newsom on Tuesday will oversee a drawing where 10 vaccinated people will win $1.5 million each.

That’s the same day Newsom is lifting his stay-at-home order and ending most restrictions on businesses, including allowing fully vaccinated people to stop wearing masks under most circumstances.

He said the state began offering the incentives after California and the nation started seeing a decline in the number of first vaccinations. Administered doses increased 13.8% week-over-week since the prize drawings began, he said.

“We are confident these vaccine incentives have worked. That’s why we want to continue in that spirit” with the vacation packages, he said.

The prize giveaways, streamed online, have the appearance of game shows, with Newsom as host giving out 30 $50,000 prizes. The state is also giving $50 gift cards to 2 million people who get vaccinated.

Newsom, a Democrat, faces a likely recall election this fall largely driven by his handling of the pandemic, and his Republican challengers have contended that the prizes are a taxpayer-paid way for him to boost his popularity. However, other governors of both political parties launched similar incentives.

To aid those who must show they have been vaccinated, the state later this week will unveil what Newsom said will be a way for people to show “an electronic version of your paper version” of the vaccine verification card.

“It’s not a passport, it’s not a requirement,” he said, without giving details.

4 winter skin care tips from the experts

UV rays can still burn or damage your skin in the cold winter months. Even though it’s not as hot, your skin needs protection year-round from UV rays.
Customize your skin plan

Talk with a Provider to figure out the perfect mix of treatments and products based on your skin concerns and what you’re looking to achieve. Since there’s no one skin solution that works for everyone, your Provider can help you customize a plan. 

Make an appointment at one of their nine convenient locations to speak with a Provider about which treatments might be best for you this winter. And visit them online at SkinCancerDerm.com to learn about treatment options, locations, Providers, and to request an appointment.

Winter can bring gorgeous snow-capped mountains, ski adventures, and other fun winter activities. When temperatures drop, however, you may find it’s a little more work to keep your skin glowing than it does throughout warmer months. Cold, dry air can irritate the skin, cause chapping, and make it difficult to maintain hydration. 

Your local skin care experts at Skin Cancer & Dermatology Institute share their top four winter skin care tips to keep your skin healthy in the colder months:

1. Don’t Overheat Your Skin

You may be tempted to crank up the thermostat when you’re inside or take a long, hot shower to offset the chill in the air outside. However, central heat can make your skin even drier, so try to keep the thermostat closer to 68 degrees. You can always warm up with a cozy blanket or snuggle up by a fire.

Also, keeping your showers shorter (approximately 5-10 minutes in length) will help you save a little water and keep from overheating your skin. If your skin gets red, then the water is too hot for it. The American Association of Dermatologists (AAD) explains that keeping the temperature from being too hot in showers or baths can help keep skin from drying out since hot water removes some of your skin’s natural oils.

2. Moisturize and Then Moisturize More

Moisturize your skin frequently. An ointment or cream may be better in the winter months (instead of your usual lotion that may work well when it’s warmer or more humid in the summer months). It’s also a good idea to use moisturizers that have a lipid barrier and hyaluronic acid.  

Talk to your Skin Care Provider at Skin Cancer & Dermatology Institute about what skin care products might work best for you, including SkinCeuticals® and ALASTIN Skincare® moisturizers.

4. Keep Applying (And Reapplying) Your Sunscreen

UV rays can still burn or damage your skin in the cold winter months. Even though it’s not as hot, your skin needs protection year-round from UV rays. Whether it’s sunny, cloudy, rainy, or snowy, the sun’s rays still permeate through and reach your skin. So, use a moisturizing, broad-spectrum sunscreen to protect your skin, such as EltaMD® sunscreens.

4. Watch the Exfoliating

Because your skin usually gets drier in the winter, you may want to minimize the frequency of exfoliating. Your Provider at Skin Cancer & Dermatology Institute can help you determine just how much exfoliation makes sense for you and how often your skin needs it.

What is Maskne, and How Can I Protect Myself From it?

The Skin Cancer & Dermatology Institute, your trusted local skin care experts for more than 20 years in the Greater Reno-Tahoe area, is seeing many patients come in with acne and skin irritation caused by wearing masks. So, as dermatology experts, we’re providing some information and tips on protecting your skin when wearing a mask.

What is Maskne?

The American Academy of Dermatology Association (AAD) explains that while masks play a vital role in reducing the spread of the coronavirus, they can also be hard on your skin. This may cause problems that range from acne and peeling skin to rashes and itchiness.

Maskne is a new diagnosis acne breakout caused by wearing a face mask regularly. Commonly, the acne appears along the nose, cheeks, jawline, and chin – the precise spots where your mask hits your face.

Can I Prevent Maskne?

Like many other skin conditions, including acne, some people are more prone to it than others. But here are some tips from your local Dermatologist Dr. Whitney Hovenic, M.D.:

1.     Wash Your Face Every Day

Dr. Hovenic explains, “The most important thing you need to do every single day at the end of the day is to wash your face. You want to get off the dirt and the oil, and for this, we recommend a gentle facial cleanser like EltaMD Foaming Facial Cleanser or ALASTIN Skincare® Gentle Cleanser, which you can get at our office.”

2.     Moisturize

In general, many of us may experience dry skin with an increase in handwashing and weather getting colder in the fall. It’s important to help your skin stay moisturized by using extra moisturizer after washing your face as well as before and after wearing a mask.

3.     Continue Your Dermatology Treatment Plan

If you have a skin condition such as acne or rosacea, you want to continue the treatment plan as it can help keep the condition more under control. If you have a skin condition and don’t have a skin care plan, it’s a good idea to see an experienced Skin Care Provider to get one created for you and your needs.

For a Cosmetic Dermatology consultation for a customized skin care treatment plan, make an appointment with any one of their Board-Certified Medical Providers. Your skin care experts at Skin Cancer & Dermatology Institute also invite you to schedule your annual full skin exam. Visit their website to book an appointment at one of their nine Reno-Tahoe area locations or call them today at 775.324.0699.