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LATEST UPDATES: Tracking COVID-19 | Vaccines | Racial Justice

San Diego County Reports 193 COVID-19 Cases, 12 Additional Deaths

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County public health officials have reported 193 new infections and 12 additional deaths.

Speaker 1: 00:00 San Diego County has tightened the race between COVID-19 and vaccinations. Sunday, we reached a milestone. We surpassed 1 million vaccine doses. This as more variants begin to surface KPBS reporter Matt Hoffman has been covering the counties vaccination efforts and joins us with the latest Matt. Welcome. So that 1 million number I mentioned is of doses. And two of the three vaccines approved require two doses before someone is fully vaccinated. So where are we at with the number of people who have been fully vaccinated?

Speaker 2: 00:34 Yeah, so that 1 million number, those are people who have received at least one dose. And we know that who people who are fully vaccinated, so either getting both doses or that one Johnson and Johnson is more than 600 San Diego, 600,000 San Diego, excuse me. And we know that that's 22% more than 22% of all residents over age, 16 years old. Keep in mind the numbers here. We're talking about a million residents. Those are all a million residents who have been at least one dose that are over 16 years old.

Speaker 1: 00:59 This last week, more people became eligible for the vaccine. Remind us who is currently eligible.

Speaker 2: 01:05 Yeah, Jane. So right now everyone aged 50 and older is eligible to get a vaccination. And basically, you know, before you might've had to had an underlying condition, or maybe you had to bring some paperwork to show that you were an educator, um, none of that is required. Now, you know, you book your appointment online, you know, you come, you show your ID, no questions asked over 50 and get your appointment. And then starting in the middle of April, that opens up to everyone, age 16 and older with the same thing, no restrictions there.

Speaker 1: 01:28 Do we actually have enough vaccines for all of the people who are eligible right now?

Speaker 2: 01:34 You know, we know supplies have been increasing, you know, super resonates. And Fletcher said our most recent County allocation was a 25% bump, which is the highest bump that we've seen since getting vaccinations. But it's, it's not keeping up with demand. You know, they estimate at around the 30 or so County sites, plus some other ones that could do at search capacity, 50,000 shots a day, but they're doing, you know, a little over 12,000 a day right now. But ideally they'd like to be doing around 30,000, but supply is still lagging behind that demand right now, which is very, very high and County officials are warning people, you know, that it may be hard to find appointments. Um, but they're asking people, you know, just to have some patients here

Speaker 1: 02:09 And scripts mentioned, they're shutting down Del Mar, right?

Speaker 2: 02:12 Yeah. You know, that's, that's been a constant thing that we have seen at some of these super stations. You know, the one downtown Petco park people might remember, um, having a lot of appointments they're rescheduled. Um, and then also, you know, that new Del Mar Superstation, uh, scripts has had some issues there over the last few weeks with supply. Um, and you know, sometimes it seems like the County goes after the biggest fish, so to speak, you know, closing one of those super stations. So they might not have to close down five or six smaller pods,

Speaker 1: 02:36 Uh, and Del Mar will be closed from Wednesday to Sunday due to the lack of a vaccine. All of this makes getting an appointment that much harder. Um, do you have any advice for people who are eligible for a vaccination, but are struggling to get an appointment?

Speaker 2: 02:49 You know, there's a lot of different places to get vaccination appointments. You know, we talk a lot about, uh, the, the, the County sponsored sites, you know, the ones that are on the, my turn website, there's also a lot of pharmacies, you know, some of those pharmacies you'll see on the, my turn website, like bonds pharmacies, uh, but then there's ones like riding that are not listed on there, you know, that they, they use their own portal. Uh, we know the Cal fire, San Diego part of operation collaboration, they're doing vaccinations. Um, and those are booked through prep mod, which is an online system. Um, you know, they're going to be this week up in some rural areas up in Campo. I know for a day on Wednesday, they have a couple of semi-permanent vaccination sites in Carlsbad. So checking out all your options, you know, just because you might not be able to find one on my turn, you might be able to find one through a pharmacy or through one of these mobile CallFire sites.

Speaker 1: 03:33 Governor was in city Heights this week and hailed the county's vaccination effort, particularly in the hardest hit communities. Can you tell us about the state goal in terms of prioritizing those in lower income areas?

Speaker 2: 03:45 Right. So we know that that's something that the governor likes to talk about a lot about how the state is allocating vaccinations to communities that have been hardest hit by. COVID-19 something that he says not a lot of other States are doing. And, you know, some of the response that we're seeing, you know, we're seeing a vaccine vaccination events happening, uh, targeting communities like Barrio Logan. There was one this past Saturday there. Um, but the governor says that this is something that's really important. Here's the governor

Speaker 1: 04:07 State is the only state in the country that has committed 40% of all of its first doses to be set aside under an equity framework, which will allow cities and counties like San Diego to move more quickly through these tiers. And so, Matt, how does the equity framework change the tier stress?

Speaker 2: 04:26 Sure. Right. So th th th this happened before, it was actually how we got into the red tier earlier, you know, the state benchmark it's in 2 million doses, and some of those hardest hit communities, they set a new benchmark of hitting 4 million doses. And those hardest hit communities, basically once they hit that benchmark, uh, the bar changes, so to speak the bar's lowered a little bit, and that's how we could be getting into that orange tier earlier than we thought. Hmm.

Speaker 1: 04:47 And if we hit that next benchmark for a million doses statewide, we'll be eligible to go from the red to orange tier, what would being in the orange tier.

Speaker 2: 04:56 Right? So we're talking about restrictions for a lot more businesses being relaxed. So we're talking about indoor retail on things like churches, the capacity doubles in there. Uh, we're seeing a lot of, a lot of doublings in, in terms of capacity, you know, gym capacity increases, uh, movie theaters. They can only be at 10% right now that that's, that that is going to increase. So maybe not so many sectors reopening completely, but we're seeing an expansion of capacity.

Speaker 1: 05:18 I've been speaking to KPBS reporter Matt Hoffman, Matt. Thank you.

Speaker 2: 05:22 Thanks, Jared.

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KPBS Midday Edition Segments

Maureen Cavanaugh and Jade Hindmon host KPBS Midday Edition, a daily radio news magazine keeping San Diego in the know on everything from politics to the arts.