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Health Officials Activate Countywide Vaccine Disbursement
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San Joaquin County Public Health Officer Dr. Maggie Park told the Board of Supervisors on Tuesday that the County had received its first allotment of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine and that the rollout to all seven San Joaquin area acute care hospitals had begun. Healthcare workers have already started receiving the vaccinations.

“Vaccines are here and it is great news,” Dr. Park told the Board in her regular briefing. “It’s the first major mark of turning a corner on this virus and we’re fully prepared to administer our vaccine allotment as rapidly and as efficiently as can be done.”

San Joaquin County Public Health Services received an initial allocation of 4,875 doses of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine Tuesday, enough to vaccinate all frontline healthcare personnel who requested vaccination at the seven acute care hospitals serving San Joaquin County. The County expects additional vaccine allotments next week, and the area’s skilled nursing facilities are slated to start receiving vaccines the week of Dec. 28.

“The State of California directs vaccine allotment, distribution to counties, and recipient prioritization,” Park said. “At the County level, we have developed the framework in which to administer the vaccine, including management, storage, and distribution to hospitals.”

San Joaquin County COVID-19 latest statistics as of Dec. 15, 2020:

• 32,641 total confirmed COVID-19 cases to date

• 537 total COVID-19 deaths to date

• Averaging 700 confirmed cases on a single day

• 319 COVID-19 current patient hospitalizations

• 78 COVID-19 adult cases in ICU with 49 patients on ventilators

• ICU total patient capacity is at 117 percent

• COVID-19 patients currently occupy 62 percent of total ICU hospital beds

• Testing positivity countywide is at 15.1 percent

• The county’s case rate is at 68.4 cases per day per 100,000 population

San Joaquin County remains under State mandated COVID-19 restrictions that likely will stay in effect into January. The Regional Stay-At-Home Order went into effect on Dec. 5. These protective measures are prompted when available ICU capacity drops lower than 15 percent.

The Board of Supervisors also voted unanimously to allocate $15 million to fund a revised Small Business Grant Program and a Family Rent and Mortgage Assistance Program, both designed to extend critical financial relief to renters, homeowners, and small businesses. These programs will be funded through a transfer from County contingency funds in the General Fund.

The new Family Rental/Mortgage Assistance Program will focus on helping renters and homeowners with payment of past due rent or mortgage or the reimbursement of rent or mortgage based on COVID-19-related harm that individual families have incurred. For small businesses, relief funds will focus on reimbursement of PPE and other COVID-19 related expenditures, as well as relaxed criteria for rent or mortgage expenses.

Both programs are being fast-tracked to deliver relief as quickly as possible, planned to begin before year-end. Applications will be handled on a first-come, first-serve basis. The County Administrator’s Office will assess how the two programs perform and the need for additional funding allocations will be based on that assessment and on whether additional relief funds are delivered from federal sources.

The County received over 1,000 applications and processed 720 grants totaling $7.7 million from CARES Act Funds for the previous Small Business Grant Program rounds.