San Joaquin County Director of Health Care Services Greg Diederich told the Board of Supervisors at their mid-October meeting that COVID-19 case rates and hospitalizations continue to show promising declines throughout the County. Diederich told the Supervisors that case rates continue to drop steadily and are now at 16.1 cases per 100,000 which is down from 26.7 cases a few weeks ago and down from 50.7 during the height of the late summer surge on Aug. 21. He said while this is good news, the target rate should be at least under 10 cases per 100,000.
San Joaquin County COVID-19 statistics as of Oct. 8, 2021:
• 96,869 total COVID-19 cases; 1,681 deaths; 117 people hospitalized; 41 people in ICU; 38 people on ventilators
• 827,753 vaccine doses have been administered in the County
• 58.5 percent (380,117 residents) are fully vaccinated and another 8.5 percent (55,329 residents), have received partial vaccinations through the County, as well as other multi-county entities, hospital systems, and pharmacies comprising 66.9 percent of San Joaquin County’s total population
• 67% of the population has received at least one dose
• County hospital ICU’s remain over 100 percent capacity, but only 44 percent of hospital ICU beds are filled by COVID-19 patients
To view weekly updates of the County’s COVID-19 statistics, visit: http://www.sjcphs.org/Disease/Epidemiology.aspx
Diederich also told the Board that testing continues at a relatively high rate and will soon surpass 1.5 million tests administered to County residents. He said that even though the County’s positivity rate continues to fall at 4.5 percent, it is still more than twice the state average of 2.2 percent. He said that many testing and vaccination events are being held in partnership with County clinics with walk-in events that do not require pre-registration. There are an additional 16 fixed testing sites with 10 sites offering rapid antigen tests. On Oct. 12, the County unveiled five additional testing sites in partnership with Fulgent Labs and several school districts including the Tuesday launch at Escalon High School and in the coming weeks with Jefferson, Banta, Lincoln and Ripon Unified School Districts. Diederich also said the County continues to make persistent and incremental progress on COVID-19 vaccinations where the average daily statewide vaccine rate increased from about 70,000 per day to 90,000 per day upon recent approval of booster vaccinations. He said no mass vaccination booster events are currently being planned in San Joaquin County at this time.
In Board actions at the session, the Board adopted a resolution prohibiting the use of vaccine passports by any county offices, board or agent and strongly discouraging the use of vaccine passports by any other agency or business within the county. The resolution was brought to the Board after other counties in California like Los Angeles and San Francisco adopted ordinances requiring mandatory use of vaccination passports for individuals entering public and private establishments.
“The San Joaquin County Board of Supervisors strongly discourages the use of vaccine passports by any other agency or business within the county,” said Tom Patti, Chairman of the San Joaquin County Board of Supervisors. “Our businesses have suffered throughout the pandemic and this unnecessary restriction will further erode many businesses’ ability to survive by eliminating a large percentage of the unvaccinated population from entering, working, or using specific businesses or government services. Everyone should be free to choose whether or not to receive the COVID-19 vaccinations or boosters and no one should be discriminated against in any way for the personal medical decisions they make.”
In Consent Items, the Board:
• Approved use of Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act grant funds for the Terminal and Fire Station Carpet Project at the Stockton Metropolitan Airport in the amount of $31,616, and related budget adjustments.
• Approved use of Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act grant funds, for the Runway Rubber Removal and Marking Restriping Project at the Stockton Metropolitan Airport in the amount of $48,450, and related budget adjustments.
• Approved use of Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act grant funds for the Air Conditioning Package Unit Replacement Project at the Stockton Metropolitan Airport in the amount of $57,799, and related budget adjustments.
• Approved retroactive increase to purchase order with Snapmed Tech, Inc., DBA SnapNurse for supplemental staffing, effective Sept. 10, 2021 through Nov. 13, 2021, increasing the amount by $6,800,000 to a total not to exceed amount of $7,000,000, and related budget adjustments.