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COVID-19

COVID hit some downtown Turlock businesses harder than others. Here’s who fared best

in business

During the statewide COVID-19 shelter-in-place order in March 2020, Gina Blom decided she needed to close her downtown Turlock paint and sip studio.

Blom shifted Rembrandt & Rosé to a mobile business, and she said a new tenant moved into the suite on West Main Street as soon as she left.

The turnover exemplifies how downtown Turlock has remained a desirable hub for local businesses and maintained a low vacancy rate throughout the pandemic, Blom and other business owners said.

Few businesses have closed and new tenants have taken their place right after, said Blom, who also works as the executive director of the Turlock Chamber of Commerce. The occupancy rate for downtown Turlock stands at 99%, said Lori Smith, co-owner of Main Street Antiques and a board member of the Turlock Downtown Property Owners Association.

Continue Reading on The Modesto Bee

Moderna announces step toward updating COVID shots for fall

in Health

Moderna hopes to offer updated COVID-19 boosters in the fall that combine its original vaccine with protection against the omicron variant. On Tuesday, it reported a preliminary hint that such an approach might work.

Today's COVID-19 vaccines all are based on the original version of the coronavirus. But the virus continues to mutate, with the super-contagious omicron variant - and its siblings - the latest threat.

Before omicron came along, Moderna was studying a combination shot that added protection against an earlier variant named beta. Tuesday, the company said people given that beta-original vaccine combination produced more antibodies capable of fighting several variants - including omicron - than today's regular booster triggers.

Continue Reading on ABC7

Asymptomatic people no longer need to quarantine after COVID exposure, California health officials say

in Health

The state of California has eased its quarantine requirements for those exposed to COVID-19 and are showing no symptoms.

The California Department of Public Health earlier this month released new guidance stating that those exposed to the coronavirus, and showing no symptoms, no longer need to quarantine for a minimum of five days, as was the previous requirement.

Continue Reading on CBS Los Angeles

How sewage surveillance could aid public health beyond COVID

in Health

MODESTO, Calif. — One of Patrick Green’s first orders of business each day is to open a tap and fill a bottle with sludge.

A utilities plant operator in Modesto, a city of nearly a quarter-million people in California’s San Joaquin Valley, Green helps keep the city’s sewers flowing and its wastewater treated to acceptable levels of safety. But in recent months, he and his colleagues have added COVID-19 sleuthing to their job description.

At the treatment plant where Modesto’s sewer pipes converge, larger items, ranging from not-supposed-to-be-flushed baby wipes to car parts, are filtered out. What remains is ushered into a giant vat, where the solids settle to the bottom. It’s from that 3-feet-deep dark sludge that researchers siphon samples in their search for SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID.

Continue Reading on PBS

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