Mono County returned to the yellow tier on Tuesday, a comeback many months in the making.
The yellow tier is California’s least restrictive in the Blueprint for A Safer Economy.
88.8% of the state is in either the yellow or orange tiers.
Yellow tier means: outdoor gatherings up to 100 people, outdoor private events up to 400 with proof of vaccine or negative testing, and restaurants and movie theaters are open to 50% capacity along with gyms.
County Public Health Director Bryan Wheeler announced the change in status at Tuesday’s Mono County Board of Supervisors meeting.
The county has recorded 1,024 total cases, with a 30-day increase of just 1.2%.
Mono County’s case rate remained the same as the previous week, 2 new cases per 100,000 residents per day and 1.7% testing positivity rate.
Wheeler also reported that the County public health department has administered 8,064 first doses and 7,220 second doses.
“Clinics are slowing down a little bit as far as people coming out,” he said, “We’ve sort of reached a saturation point to some extent.”
In a later press release from the county, Wheeler said that while he was glad about the progress being made locally, “We’re seeing concerning resurgences of variants in other states, reminding us that COVID-19 is not gone. The only way we will continue to make progress in Mono County is through vaccination.”
Inyo County has now spent one week in orange tier.
County Health and Human Services director Marilyn Mann said that Inyo is currently re
According to the state, Inyo has a case rate of .8 new cases per 100,000 residents per day and a .7% testing positivity rate.
The county will remain in orange tier for two more weeks before it is eligible to move to yellow.
Deputy HHS Director Anna Scott said that the county has been pulling together data to get an accurate picture of vaccine saturation.
55.1% of the county’s population has been fully vaccinated and 72.% have received at least one dose.
California has fully vaccinated 45.7% of residents, with 62.7% receiving at least one dose.
Scott said about 600 residents will receive their second doses at the Tri-County Fairgrounds this weekend.
She indicated that the large-scale events would winding down in favor of a focus on supplying more providers (i.e. pharmacies, health clinics) with vaccine.
Another key piece of vaccine-related news this week was the Food and Drug Administration (FDA)’s approval of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine for 12-15 year olds.
On Wednesday, the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) voted unanimously to recommend the vaccine for kids as young as 12.
The ACIP is part of the Center for Disease Control.
Consent from a parent/guardian is needed for children to get the vaccine.
The end result: 17 million more Americans are eligible to become vaccinated against Covid-19.
Pfizer has already announced that they intend to submit emergency use authorization for children ages 2-11 in September.
The news comes as vaccination rates have slowed around the country.
The Center for Disease Control reports that 35.4% of Americans are now fully vaccinated against Covid-19.
Some 46.4% have received at least one dose.
Some places are resorting to incentive systems for the vaccine: West Virginia is offering $100 savings bonds to 16-35 year-olds who opt to take a Covid-19 vaccine, New Jersey is giving out a free beer to those who get a first dose in May, Maryland is offering $100.
Ohio may just take the cake.
Governor Mike DeWine has announced that 5 Ohioans will be selected via lottery to receive $1 million for getting vaccinated.
As part of Governor Gavin Newsom’s $100 billion “California Comeback Plan”, Californians below a certain income level can expect to receive stimulus payments.
The checks, designated for those who make between $30,000 and $70,000, will amount to $600 per person and $500 for families with children.
An additional $500 will go to undocumented families.
Newsom’s rebates come as the state projects a $75 billion budget surplus.
California law dictates that the state must spend a significant portion of that excess on schools.
State Finance Director Keely Bosler has said that approximately $38 billion will be available for use by Newsom and the state legislature.
Another facet of the California Comeback Plan: rental assistance.
$5.2 billion will be set aside for low income renters to help cover both back rent and future rental payments.
The plan also sets aside significant funds for legal assistance and bill payment assistance.
Newsom also came out on Thursday, May 13 with a new proposal to add $1.5 billion to an existing small business grant program.
An estimated 150,000 small businesses could receive grants, which will run up to $25,000 per business.
So far, nearly 200,000 small businesses have received some sort of financial grant from the state.
About 350,000 businesses applied at the outset of the grant program.
Also on Thursday, the CDC announced that fully vaccinated people can participate in both indoor and outdoor activities without the need for a mask or six-foot social distance.
“If you are fully vaccinated, you can start doing the things you have stopped doing because of the pandemic,” CDC director Rochelle Walensky said at a briefing at the White House.
The decision is based on existing information and reports about the efficacy of Covid-19 vaccines.
Walensky urged jurisdictions to consider their respective vaccine supply and saturation when making decisions about mask mandates.
She also encouraged those with preexisting conditions consult with their health care providers before doing away with masks altogether.