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‘Religious’ exemptions add legal thorns to looming COVID vaccine mandates

in Health

In Northern California, the pastor of a megachurch hands out religious exemption forms to the faithful. A New Mexico state senator will “help you articulate a religious exemption” by pointing to the decades-old use of aborted fetal cells in the development of some vaccines. And a Texas-based evangelist offers exemption letters to anyone — for a suggested “donation” starting at $25.

With workplace vaccine mandates in the offing, opponents are turning to a tried-and-true recourse for avoiding a covid-19 shot: the claim that vaccination interferes with religious beliefs.

No major denomination opposes vaccination. Even the Christian Science Church, whose adherents rely largely on prayer rather than medicine, does not impose an official policy. It counsels “respect for public health authorities and conscientious obedience to the laws of the land, including those requiring vaccination.”

Continue Reading on The Mercury News

Mask mandate returns for Stanislaus County

in Community/Health/News/People

People will again have to wear masks indoors in Stanislaus County as COVID-19 cases surge and the local healthcare systems strain under increased hospitalizations.

The order requires all people to wear face coverings when indoors in workplaces and public settings, with limited exemptions, and recommends that businesses make face coverings available to individuals entering their businesses. This order will take effect Saturday.

“The decision to go forward with a masking mandate is based on the need to protect our healthcare system. There is a concerning rise in hospitalizations that is threatening hospital capacity,” said Dr. Julie Vaishampayan, Public Health Officer for Stanislaus County. “Masking is an essential tool that limits the transmission of the Delta variant as we continue to vaccinate the people who live, work and learn in Stanislaus County.”

Continue Reading on Turlock Journal

Schools in Stanislaus County reporting 277 COVID-19 cases last week

in Health

As of Wednesday, 4,344 students and staff were in quarantine across Stanislaus schools, according to a new coronavirus dashboard posted weekly by the Health Services Agency. One hundred thirty people were in isolation due to a positive test.

The number of people in quarantine refers to all close contacts, including those staying home for 10 days, staying home for seven days with a negative test on Day 5 and those continuing to attend school in person while testing negative twice over 10 days. The number of people in quarantine more than tripled compared to last week's data.

The county-level numbers provide a broad picture of how COVID-19 cases and quarantine procedures have affected the first few weeks of in-person school. Some districts have also launched their own data displays as COVID-19 cases increase.

Continue Reading on MSN

Kaiser makes COVID vaccine mandatory for staff. What about other Stanislaus hospitals?

in Health

Kaiser Permanente said Monday it is making COVID-19 vaccinations mandatory for its employees and physicians who are not yet vaccinated against the virus, which is causing new outbreaks in California.

The nation’s largest nonprofit health organization said the vaccines are a step in protecting the health care workforce, Kaiser patients and members of the community.

The announcement was made as workers at medical facilities in California are expected to start complying this month with a recent state order to be vaccinated against COVID-19 or be tested regularly.

Continue Reading on The Modesto Bee.

Do you need to be vaxxed to work, learn and visit Stanislaus State? We sort it out.

in Health

Keeping with the California State University system’s decision, Stanislaus State will require students, faculty and staff coming on campus to receive the COVID-19 vaccine.

Students taking all of their courses online are still “highly encouraged to get vaccinated in the event they need to access campus services during the fall term,” Stanislaus State President Ellen Junn said in a Tuesday message to students.

The CSU announced Tuesday that it will mandate the COVID-19 vaccine for people coming to all 23 campuses. Deadlines for students, faculty and staff to certify their vaccination will depend on each campus’s academic calendars, but all must be completed by Sept. 30, according to a CSU press release.

Continue Reading on The Modesto Bee.

Stanislaus County recommends everyone wear masks indoors

in Health

STANISLAUS COUNTY, Calif. (KTXL) – Stanislaus County health officials announced Monday they are recommending everyone wear masks indoors regardless of their vaccination status. 

The recommendation comes as the county reported an abrupt rise in cases.

Health officials attribute the increase to the more contagious Delta variant.

Sacramento County health officials issues a similar recommendation last week.

Continue Reading on Fox 40

Highly transmissible Delta variant found in Stanislaus County

in Health/News

Health officials are urging individuals who have yet to get a COVID-19 vaccination to do so soon as the more transmissible Delta variant grows across California, including in Stanislaus County.

“We are closely monitoring the spread of COVID-19 and its variants across our state. COVID-19 has not gone away. If you are not vaccinated, you are still at risk.,” said Dr. Tomás Aragón, CDPH Director and State Public Health Officer. “Currently, the Delta variant accounts for approximately 36 percent of cases sampled in California, and we expect this to rise. The most important thing we can do to stop the spread of COVID-19, and the variants, is ensure everyone who is eligible gets vaccinated.”

The Delta variant, first detected in India, has a transmission rate that is 60 percent higher than the Alpha variant, which had been the dominant strain. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention said that 25 percent of the new COVID-19 cases in the United States are the Delta strain and that soon it will be the prevailing strain.

Continue Reading on Turlock Journal

Family rejoices as mother recovers from months-long COVID illness

in Health/People

It had been more than nine months since Yolanda Salinas had been inside her own home, but on Monday she got to take the step that at times over the last year seemed like it might never happen.

Salinas, 64, and a former Turlock resident who now resides in Chowchilla, was diagnosed with COVID-19 in September 2020. Over the course of her illness, she was a patient in three different hospitals and care facilities. She was in a medically induced coma and was given a tracheotomy. She has suffered partial paralysis and developed a resistant form of pneumonia. But, after all that she has finally made enough strides and improvements that on Monday she was released from the hospital and got to come home.

“We were worried she would be overwhelmed, but she held it together and was able to spend hours with a few of her brothers, sisters, nieces, nephews, children and grandchildren,” said her son Omar Salinas, a Turlock resident. “It was a great day indeed.”

Continue Reading on Turlock Journal

Residents warned to protect against West Nile Virus spread by mosquitos

in Health/News

The Eastside Mosquito Abatement District detected West Nile Virus (WNV) in mosquitoes collected on June 2, from the northeast part of Modesto. Mosquito season is in full swing and, with the presence of West Nile virus, requires that all are aware and be vigilant from being bitten. Eastside Mosquito Abatement District and Turlock Mosquito Abatement District (the MADs) are working diligently within their jurisdictions to keep mosquito populations low and potential for WNV transmission minimal.

As of June 10, WNV has been detected in Stanislaus, San Joaquin, Sacramento, Kern and Los Angeles counties, and confirmed in six dead birds, four mosquito samples, and no human cases. Stanislaus County has only one mosquito sample positive for WNV.

Continue Reading on The Ceres Courier

WIC participants receive increase in benefits

in Community/Food/Health

Beginning this month, participants of the Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) program will see a temporary increase to their benefits for the purchase of fruits and vegetables.

This benefit, provided by the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021, provides families with a temporary increase in their monthly WIC fruits and vegetables benefit to $35 to provide additional relief during COVID‐19. Currently, children ages one to five receive $9 per month, and, pregnant, postpartum, and breastfeeding women receive $11 per month. The increase takes effect June 1 and is expected to last until September 2021.

Continue Reading on The Ceres Courier

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