/Dodger Stadium To Stop COVID-19 Tests And Become A Mass Vaccination Site – LAist

Dodger Stadium To Stop COVID-19 Tests And Become A Mass Vaccination Site – LAist


On Monday, January 11, Gov. Gavin Newsom delivered his latest update on California’s response to the coronavirus. You can see his full remarks in the livestream above.

TOO SOON TO TELL IF HOSPITALIZATIONS ARE DECREASING

Gov. Newsom pointed out today that we’re seeing a 6% increase in the total number of hospitalizations over the last 14 days, which is an improvement in the state’s curve.

“That’s among the smallest increases we’ve seen over a two week period in some time,” Newsom said.

The rate of increase is also lower in the state’s ICUs.

The governor cautioned, however, that it’s too soon to say whether or not this is an actual sign of the surge going down.

Dr. Mark Ghaly, Secretary of California Health and Human Services, explained that officials expected that, “If people made some different decisions in the last half of December, we would begin to see some flattening of those hospital numbers first.”

“That said, we are still concerned that over the last week, we’ve seen some high case numbers and those will end up in our hospitals, you know, five to 10 days from now. So I don’t want to think that we’re out of the woods in any measure,” Ghaly said.

He added that his team is still grateful for the “slight flattening” they’re starting to see, which might give the healthcare system a little breathing room.

You can see the slight dip in hospitalizations in the governor’s slide above. (Screenshot from today’s media briefing).

HOSPITAL STAFFING

The Governor says the state’s emphasis now is on hospital staffing, particuarly contract staff.

“We continue to work with the Federal Government Department of Defense and others to request additional resources… that’s a top priority,” Newsom said.

More than 1,878 state and federal staffmembers are now deployed across the state of California, mostly in Southern California where numbers are highest. Within the next week, the Governor says he expects about 1,000 contract staff to hit the ground, including registered nurses, licensed vocational nurses and respiratory specialists. He said the state is currently in the process of figuring out exactly where they’ll go. Those healthcare workers will supplement the 2,000 who have already been deployed.

VACCINE UPDATE

California has received just under 2.4 milion doses of the vaccine, Newsom said, with the goal of vaccinating 1 million Californians in 10 days and are taking an “all hands on deck approach.”

To accomplish this, Newsom said, the state has loosened some of the tiers and expanded the pool of those who can administer the vaccines.That includes nursing students, dentists and pharmacists, among others.

“We now have 15 National Guard strike teams all up and down the state,” he said. “And they’re out there working with the Office of Emergency Services working with clinics and health providers directly.”

Newsom added that the state will be opening up larger sites for vaccine distribution, like Dodger’s Stadium:

“We recognize that the current strategy is not going to get us to where we need to go as quickly as we all need it to go, and so that’s why we’re speeding up the administration, not just for priority groups, but also now opening up large sites,meeting Dodger Stadium Padre Stadium, Cal Expo these large mass vaccination sites, you start to see those coming up as early as this week. You’ll see many, many more… so this is encouraging.”

Newsom added that he expects $350 million in stimulus support for vaccine distribution.

The state has also launched a new PSA campaign in English and Spanish to raise awareness about it, focusing on the fact that the vaccine is free for everyone, but that the public should still wear masks and socially distance after receving it.

GORILLAS

Members of the Gorilla Troop at the San Diego Zoo Safari Park have tested positive for SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19. On Wednesday, January 6, two of the gorillas began coughing. Given current circumstances, San Diego Zoo Global initiated the process of testing fecal samples from the gorillas for SARS-CoV-2 through the California Animal Health and Food Safety Laboratory System (CA HFS). The U.S Department of Agriculture (USDA) National Veterinary Services Laboratories (NVSL) confirmed the positive results on Monday, January 11. (Ken Bohn/San Diego Zoo Global)

Yes, you read that correctly. Two gorillas have tested positive for COVID-19, and a third gorilla is symptomatic.

“We’re currently confirming the source of the infection and the strain,” Newsom said. “It’s an area that’s long been of concern, human to animal transmission, but our beloved gorillas, obviously, we are concerned about.”

The Governor said we are likely to see more information about this in the next few hours. He also mentioned that his four children found this slide in his presentation particularly amusing.

Update: According to a press release from the zoo: “Aside from some congestion and coughing, the gorillas are doing well.”

OVERALL LOOK AT CALIFORNIA’S NUMBERS:

Here’s a look at long-term trends in the state. To see more, visit our California COVID-19 Tracker and choose California or any county in the state that interests you. These numbers are current as of Jan. 10:

(LAist)

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