While San Joaquin County is back in the Purple (Widespread) Tier and the Stay-at-Home Order has been lifted, officials at the county level continue to take action on a number of fronts to address the pandemic.
Figures for San Joaquin County show more than 60,545 total confirmed COVID-19 cases to date with more than 850 deaths countywide. As of Monday afternoon, Feb. 1, ICU total patient capacity was at 144 percent and COVID-19 patients occupied 55 percent of total ICU hospital beds.
The county’s case rate was estimated at 63.7 cases per day per 100,000 population.
San Joaquin County Public Health Officer Dr. Maggie Park told the county’s Board of Supervisors this past week that the Governor’s recent rescinding of the Regional Stay-at-Home Order was a surprise to most public health and local government officials but said, “It is great news that our COVID-19 case rates are going down which means less people are hospitalized and more businesses can reopen or expand their operations. With these case rate reductions, in conjunction with our vaccination efforts, we are hopeful that we will soon move from the Purple Tier into the Red Tier and beyond. In the meantime, we are still deep in the Purple Tier and we still have work to do. We continue to strongly urge residents to wear a mask, wash hands, socially distance, and avoid social gatherings until we can get more people vaccinated so we can meet State requirements and continue progressing through the tiers.”
Dr. Park added that the County’s COVID-19 dashboard has been updated to include the total number of deaths and recovery rates by city. She also discussed the County’s vaccine efforts including how many vaccines have been distributed to date, as well as multiple actions to inform residents about when and where they can receive a vaccine, and how to sign up to receive a vaccination or express their interest in receiving a vaccine as soon as doses become available.
Dr. Park and County staff announced a new online platform which is being used for eligible residents to register for a vaccine event. They also discussed a new San Joaquin County COVID-19 Vaccine Interest form, which is accessible from www.SJReady.org for residents to express interest in receiving a vaccine. Those who fill out an interest form can be contacted by the County when they become eligible to receive the vaccine. Dr. Park also noted that over 31 community partners have stepped up to provide vaccinations to Phase 1a priority groups including health care workers, long-term care patients, and those 65 and older.
Dr. Park emphasized that the vaccine is available in limited quantities and that the County is committed to an equitable distribution of the vaccine where it will have the greatest impact. She said the 65+ population estimated to be vaccinated is 90,000 meaning 180,000 doses will be needed to vaccinate those individuals. With the limited quantity of vaccines, the County must further prioritize those who are most likely to develop severe symptoms or die from COVID-19. She said San Joaquin County is the only county in California to have developed modeling to calculate the risk scores for 89 percent of County residents to prioritize who would have the greatest benefit by receiving the vaccine and will move forward in identifying those individuals and communities that are most in need.
“We are committed to getting COVID-19 vaccines to the community as soon as possible, but with limited vaccines, we need to further prioritize those areas within the County where vaccination will have the greatest impact to reduce hospitalizations and deaths. A strictly first-come-first-serve system will put at greater risk those that have comorbidities or reside in areas where COVID-19 outcomes are among the worst,” Dr. Park said.
San Joaquin County vaccination eligibility and general information can be found at www.sjready.org.
COVID-19 Consent Items approved by the Board of Supervisors at its recent meeting included:
Retroactive approval of amendment to agreement with Community Foundation of San Joaquin for the Housing of the Harvest Program extending the term through Feb. 28, 2021 or up to a total cost not to exceed $130,000; authorize and direct the Assistant County Administrator to execute the amendment; and decrease contract amount from $750,000 to $130,000.
Ratify and approve first quarter Revolving Loan Fund approvals pursuant to delegated authority granted by the Board of Supervisors; and approve certain changes to the administrative plan, Sudden & Severe Economic Dislocation Revolving Loan Fund narrative, and Business Incubator Loan Program in response to the on-going economic impact of the COVID-19 Pandemic.
Retroactive approval of first amendment to Agreement (A-20-370) with Casella Bros Inc., DBA Brick House to increase funding from $641,280 to $918,291, and to extend the term to July 1, 2020 through March 31, 2021.
Retroactive approval of first amendment to Agreement (A-20-349) with BOLT Staffing Service Inc., to increase funding from $555,000 to $725,000, and to extend the term to July 1, 2020 through March 31, 2021.
PHS - Approve additional expenditures and budget adjustments for items requested to assist in the on-going response to COVID-19 by Health Care Services Agency Divisions of Public Health Services and Emergency Medical Services as stated within the oral report to the Board on Jan. 5, 2021.