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Why COVID Hit Women Harder in Stanislaus County, Calif.

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Gaby Martinez had been working for the Stanislaus Public Library for years, and she loved her job in the youth services division. She got to connect with students and parents, promote early literacy and even work with the maximum security wing of a juvenile detention center to give books to incarcerated young adults. 

But when the COVID-19 pandemic brought life to a grinding halt last spring, the library shut down. Martinez, a single mother of three who also lives with her elderly mother, suddenly lost her part-time job and her family's only source of income. 

She filed for unemployment, but due to departmental backlogs and difficulties, could only access benefits in June, months after she lost her job. Martinez, who lives in Turlock, worried about paying bills and having to dip into her savings. 

"There were times where I had late fees and I had to question, 'What am I going to pay? What am I not going to pay?'" Martinez said.

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Coronavirus update, April 4: Stanislaus sees drop in cases, positivity rates

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After a one-day spike due to a lag in reporting, Stanislaus County continued to see lower positive coronavirus test results, according to data reported on Saturday.

The Health Services Agency reported 55 new cases and saw its seven-day positivity rate fall to less than 5% and its 14-day rate to less than 6%, according to state data.

There also were zero deaths reported, leaving the overall total at 1,003 in just under one year since announcing its first fatality.

However, its case rate by episode date with a seven-day lag stood at 12.1 per 100,000 residents, a mark that would land them in the purple tier had the county not qualified for the red tier based on two key positivity rates.

The county now has 52,966 positive tests, 519,023 negative test results and 51,322 people who are presumed recovered.

The continued advice about social distancing and masks outside the household still remains in effect.

Continue Reading on MSN

How to make a COVID-19 vaccine appointment in these NorCal counties

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Millions of Californians will become eligible to get a COVID-19 vaccine this week as eligibility will expand to people ages 50 and older.

Those new guidelines will begin this Thursday, and on April 15, any Californian ages 16 and older will become eligible. What remains an issue in the fight against the virus is supply, which continues to be limited across the state.

Some Northern California county officials said the state tells them about a week in advance how many doses will be delivered for the following week, which makes planning clinics and appointments challenging.

KCRA 3 reached out to counties and health care providers to see what options are available for people trying to make vaccination appointments.

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State data shows vaccination trends in Stanislaus County

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Women in Stanislaus County appear to be receiving coronavirus vaccinations at a higher percentage than men, according to the state's vaccine website.

Of the vaccinations administered, and not taking into account those who declined to state gender or whose gender information was missing, 56.2% of those vaccinated were female and 43.4% were male. Those listing others represented 0.4%.

Race and ethnicity information was incomplete as there were 20.2% of those vaccinated were listed as "unknown," either declining to state or whose information was missing.

The percentage breakdown of those vaccinated in the county are as follows:

— White: 36.4%

— Latino: 25.3%

— Other: 9.5%

— Asian American: 5.2%

— Black: 1.7%

— Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander: 0.7%

— Multi-race: 0.6%

— American Indian or Alaska Native: 0.5%

Meanwhile, Stanislaus County's COVID-19 website was down Sunday morning, so there was no new information regarding cases, deaths and hospitalizations.

Continue Reading on MSN

Vaccine eligibility to expand; counties still facing supply shortages

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Californians age 16 and over will soon be eligible to receive a COVID-19 vaccine, according to an announcement by state officials Thursday.

Gov. Gavin Newsom said eligibility will expand to Californians 50 years and over starting April 1. Later in the month, Californians 16 years and over will also become eligible for the vaccine, starting April 15.

The governor said he also anticipates the state supply of vaccines to increase, an issue plaguing counties since the vaccine rollout.

KCRA 3 found out whether county officials think they'll be able to meet the expanded demand.

Continue Reading on KCRA

Stanislaus hospital cases top 100. Vaccine supply grows

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Hospital cases of COVID-19 surpassed 100 for the first time in nearly two weeks Thursday in Stanislaus County.

It also reported three deaths, for a total of 963 residents lost to the pandemic since last spring.

The county Health Services Agency added just 69 positive tests, raising the total to 51,468 since the first was announced a year and a day ago. Stanislaus also has 472,450 negative test results and 49,779 people who are presumed recovered.

Other details:

Hospital cases: The county's five hospitals reported 101 confirmed cases of COVID-19 on Thursday, up from 95 on Wednesday. The count had stayed under 100 since Feb. 27 and is far below the 300-plus in early January. The hospitals had 10 staffed intensive-care beds available to adults Thursday, versus nine Wednesday.

Infection rates: The single-day infection rate was 11.66%, up from 10.26% the previous day, according to the state website. The rolling seven-day rate was 6.93%, up from 6.57%. The 14-day rate was 6.57%, up from 6.47%.

Continue Reading on MSN

Statewide inequity remains in COVID-19 vaccine distribution

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SACRAMENTO, Calif. — Nearly 15 million doses of the COVID-19 vaccine have been administered in California, but the most updated statistics show that distribution has been out of step with California’s diversity.

"It's kind of alarming because again, the conversation of equity. Here you hear the slogan 'equity in action.' I guess this is what equity looks like in-action for African Americans," said Berry Accius, community advocate and founder of Voice of Youth.

While state leaders emphasize their efforts for a fair distribution – numbers revealing white Californians have received 30.7% of the vaccinations, and the lowest distribution is seen among the most vulnerable, with Black people only receiving 3%.

Dr. Olivia Kasirye with the Sacramento County Public Health and Human Services said, "This disparity came about because of the way the state set up the prioritization where we started with certain occupational sectors; health care, teachers and law enforcement."

In Sacramento County, state officials identified 12 of the most underserved ZIP codes that they are focusing on. To facilitate the process starting Monday, people still lacking access to computers, the internet or those with language barriers will be able to sign up by calling 211.

Continue Reading on KCRA

COVID variant first found in UK now detected in Stanislaus County | Need to know

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STANISLAUS COUNTY, Calif. — The coronavirus variant first discovered in the United Kingdom has been found in Stanislaus County, public health officials said. 

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, this was the variant predicted to become the dominant strain in the United States by the end of March. 

It was first reported in the US at the end of December 2020 in Colorado.

The first known case in Yolo County was detected by Health Davis Together and the UC Davis Genome Center in February.

“The detection of the B.1.1.7 variant in Stanislaus County is a sobering reminder that this pandemic is not over,” said Dr. Julie Vaishampayan, Stanislaus County Public Health officer said in a press release.

Continue Reading on ABC 10

School district acquiring thousands of COVID tests for athletes

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As Turlock Unified School District prepares for the return of football next week, a robust COVID testing regimen has been adapted so that teams can meet guidelines set forth by the state and remain safe while playing. 

On Tuesday, Stanislaus County fell below the adjusted daily case rate of 14 or fewer per 100,000 residents which was previously required in order for high- and moderate-contact outdoor sports to be played, dropping down to 13.6. However, updated guidelines released by the state last week following a lawsuit in San Diego specify that all sports teams can return to play no matter their county’s daily case rate, as long as they adhere to the stricter requirements in place for college teams. 

One of those requirements is the regular testing of athletes and support staff in order to prevent any COVID outbreaks. With Central California Athletic League football play set to begin next week, weekly testing is already underway for players at Turlock and Pitman high schools. For indoor sports like volleyball, baseline testing and ongoing screening testing must be completed on a regular basis. The CCAL is looking into the viability of scheduling indoor sports, but football is scheduled and the first games will be played next Friday.

Continue Reading on Turlock Journal

Vaccine Equity Metric Could Mean More Doses Locally

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The Newsom Administration on Thursday announced that California has 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, which governs the conditions under which California’s economy can safely operate during the COVID-19 pandemic.

California’s approach, according to information from the Governor’s Office, will continue to focus on masking and effective use of testing, contact tracing, quarantine and isolation. The state is also updating 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 Governor Newsom in a news release posted by his office. “Vaccinating our most impacted communities, across our state, is the right thing to do and the fastest way to end this pandemic.”

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