Wednesday, July 20, 2022 | California Healthline

Los Angeles Daily News:
California COVID Hospitalizations Have Quadrupled. Who Is Getting Really Sick? 

COVID hospitalizations are rising again after more than two months of persistently high case rates in the Bay Area and California. But the doctors who treat these patients are seeing consistent indications that for most, the disease is less severe than in earlier surges of the deadly virus that has killed more than a million Americans. (Rowan, 7/19)

Sacramento Bee:
COVID: Southern CA Cases Up As Bay Area, Sacramento Improve

Coronavirus numbers are showing early signs of improvement in the Sacramento region and some Bay Area counties, while infection and hospitalization numbers continue to climb in Southern California and other parts of the state. (McGough, 7/19)

Los Angeles Times:
Should You Report The Results Of Your COVID Self-Test?

The latest surge in COVID-19 infections in California may surpass last winter’s tidal wave, health officials say. And judging by wastewater tests, infections may be even more widespread than the official numbers indicate. One reason is that some people’s symptoms are so mild that they don’t seek treatment or even get tested. But another significant factor may be the large number of people using at-home tests and not reporting the results. (Healey and Garcia, 7/19)

Omicron BA.5 Makes Up Nearly 78% Of COVID Variants Circulating In U.S. – CDC

The BA.5 subvariant of Omicron was estimated to make up 77.9% of the circulating coronavirus variants in the United States for the week ended July 16, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said on Tuesday. (7/19)

The Hill:
Majority Of US Thinks COVID Will Never Go Away: Poll 

The Axios-Ipsos Coronavirus Index found that 78 percent of Americans surveyed agreed with the statement “We will never fully be rid of the coronavirus in my lifetime.” This trend was consistent for Democrats, Republicans and independents. (Choi, 7/19)

The New York Times:
A Fourth Covid Vaccine Is Cleared For Use In The United States

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Tuesday recommended that a newly authorized vaccine from Novavax be used as an option for adults seeking a primary immunization against the coronavirus. Dr. Rochelle Walensky, the C.D.C.’s director, signed off on the recommendation of a panel of vaccine experts that had unanimously endorsed the vaccine on Tuesday afternoon. The decision removes the final regulatory hurdle for the fourth Covid-19 shot authorized in the United States. (Robbins and Zimmer, 7/19)

CDC Endorses More Traditional Novavax COVID Shot For Adults

“If you have been waiting for a COVID-19 vaccine built on a different technology than those previously available, now is the time to join the millions of Americans who have been vaccinated,” Dr. Rochelle Walensky, CDC’s director, said in a statement, endorsing an earlier decision from an influential advisory panel. (Neergaard, 7/19)

East Bay Times:
COVID: Get Second Booster Now Or Wait For The Next Vaccine?

Gwyneth Paige didn’t want to get vaccinated against COVID-19 at first. With her health issues — hypertension, fibromyalgia, asthma — she wanted to see how other people fared after the shots. Then her mother got colon cancer. (Bertolone, 7/19)

The Reporter:
Monkeypox Case Confirmed In Solano County

Solano County Public Health confirmed Tuesday the first case of monkeypox identified in Solano. (7/20)

Modesto Bee:
Stanislaus County Has First Case Of Monkeypox Disease

Stanislaus County health officials have reported the county’s first case of monkeypox illness. A news release Tuesday said an adult male was infected with monkeypox disease, which has been causing outbreaks in the United States and other countries. (Carlson, 7/19)

Los Angeles Times:
Los Angeles County Monkeypox Vaccines Still ‘Extremely Limited’ 

With almost 10,000 new monkeypox vaccines in hand and an additional 7,000 promised, Los Angeles County has again expanded eligibility requirements for the shot — although the availability still falls far short of being able to inoculate everyone at risk or interested in the protection. “The supply of Jynneos vaccine from the federal government has been, and continues to be, extremely limited,” said Andrea Kim, the county’s director of vaccine-preventable disease control. (Toohey, 7/19)

‘Time Is Of The Essence’: Pelosi Urges Feds To Step Up Monkeypox Response

U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi on Tuesday urged federal health officials to step up their response to monkeypox, pointing specifically to the “urgent need” in San Francisco. In a letter to U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Xavier Becerra, the San Francisco Democrat said the current supply of monkeypox vaccine was “woefully inadequate to meet the current need,” and pressed the government to significantly expand capacity “so that anyone who qualifies can easily and quickly receive their two vaccine doses.” (Severn, 7/19)

The Mercury News:
Q&A: Monkeypox Cases Are Climbing Fast. What’s My Risk Of Catching It?

As monkeypox cases rise across the country and with 122 reported among six counties in the Bay Area as of Monday, the new virus is raising questions from a public weary of outbreaks. And while experts try to figure out exactly how the virus spreads, the Bay Area is experiencing a severe lack of vaccine supply. San Francisco announced Friday that it would be receiving around 4,000 doses of the shot, far fewer than the 35,000 it had requested earlier in the week from the federal government. Other local Bay Area counties also are reporting shortages. The federal government plans to release around 1.6 million doses in the coming months. (Greschler, 7/19)

San Francisco Chronicle:
Evidence Emerges Of Elderly Patients Dying After Transfers From Laguna Honda

Laguna Honda Hospital and Rehabilitation Center officials aren’t saying much about three patients who died within days of being transferred from the San Francisco nursing home as part of a federally mandated closure plan. But critics of the mandate blame “transfer trauma” for their deaths. Officials from Laguna Honda confirmed Tuesday that three patients died recently after being sent to other skilled nursing facilities, but provided little additional information, citing patient privacy laws and the fact that, once transferred, the patients are no longer under their care. (Asimov, 7/19)

Veterans Village Executive Resigns After Inewsource Reporting

The second highest ranking administrator at Veterans Village of San Diego has resigned weeks after inewsource started reporting on concerns about the nonprofit’s renowned rehab center. Veterans Village officials would not discuss what prompted the departure but indicated that the resignation was part of “problems that would not ordinarily exist within VVSD” if it were not for the media attention. (Castellano, 7/19)

Palm Springs Desert Sun:
Free Health Clinic Expands With New Office In Palm Springs

Gabriela Solano has received care from Coachella Valley Volunteers in Medicine for years, but it hasn’t always been convenient. (Coulter, 7/19)

Los Angeles Times:
Newsom Administration Criticized Over Kaiser Permanente Deal 

California would hand Kaiser Permanente a no-bid statewide contract to serve Medi-Cal enrollees under a deal struck behind closed doors by Gov. Gavin Newsom’s administration, raising questions among other healthcare plans about the preferential treatment of a generous supporter of the governor. (Gutierrez, 7/19)

San Diego Union-Tribune:
Big Change In Medi-Cal Rules Opens The Door To More Seniors 

As of July 1, the asset limit to qualify for Medi-Cal has increased from $2,000 to $130,000 for an individual, with an additional $65,000 allowed for each additional household member. … Prior to the expansion, many seniors in the middle-income range were unable to access long-term care facilities or in-home health care because they didn’t qualify for low-cost options and were unable to pay the steep out-of-pocket cost, said Renata Smith, executive director for the Gary and Mary West PACE center in San Marcos. It’s this group Smith refers to as “the forgotten middle.” (Mapp, 7/19)

The Bakersfield Californian:
Second Town In Neighboring Tulare County Goes Dry 

The town of Tooleville in Tulare County is once again without water. The town, which has struggled for years with dropping groundwater levels and contamination issues, saw its wells dry up over the weekend. (Vad, 7/19)

Los Angeles Times:
Uber To Pay Over $2 Million To Users With Disabilities

Uber has agreed to pay more than $2 million to users who claimed they were discriminated against because of disabilities. As part of the settlement with the Department of Justice announced Monday, the San Francisco-based company agreed to waive wait time fees for users with disabilities as well as compensate customers who weren’t given the waiver option in the past. (Luna, 7/19)

New Pathway To A Diploma Opens Doors For Students With Disabilities 

Megan Glynn’s son, Liam, started playing piano at age 4. With perfect pitch, he sails through Mozart and Vivaldi, can play anything he hears on the radio and shines when performing with the school orchestra. But because he has a significant developmental disability, he cannot earn a high school diploma, and therefore his dream of becoming a classroom music aide is just that — a dream. “He’s not being prepared for college and career, like other students are,” said Glynn, who lives in San Diego. (Jones, 7/20)

San Diego Union-Tribune:
Can Bacteria In Your Gut Boost Cancer Therapies? A San Diego Startup Thinks So

San Diego’s Persephone Biosciences, a startup working on cancer therapies and precision probiotics based on the gut microbiome, has landed $15 million in early stage seed investment. (Freeman, 7/19)

A New Online Tool Helps California Tenants Respond To Eviction Notices

In April, Juan Carlos Cruz Mora received an eviction notice from his landlord that alleged he caused property damage and dirty, unsafe living conditions in the Sacramento suburb duplex he had called home for the last 10 years. He had only five days to file a response in court. Mora, who blamed his landlord for those issues, tried to file an answer with the court himself but feared a mistake could land him, his wife, and his two young children on the street. He said he paid a lawyer $1,000 to help. (Tobias, 7/19)

San Francisco Chronicle:
S.F. Supervisors Send Decision On Homelessness Agency Oversight To Voters

San Francisco voters will decide in November whether the city should add formal oversight to the Department of Homelessness and Supportive Housing, or HSH, following the Board of Supervisors’ unanimous vote to approve a ballot measure Tuesday. (Pascua, 7/19)

Closure Of Oakland’s Largest Homeless Encampment Put On Hold — For Now

Residents at Oakland’s largest encampment of unhoused people got a reprieve Tuesday after a federal judge granted a temporary restraining order, blocking a state agency from evicting them. Caltrans had planned on Wednesday to remove many of the estimated 200 people who live at the sprawling Wood Street encampment, which stretches from north of 34th Street to 18th Street underneath the I-880 freeway, between Wood Street and the BNSF and Union Pacific railroad tracks in West Oakland. (Baldassari, 7/19)

Project Roomkey Is Ending – What Happens To The Thousands Of Unhoused People The Program Sheltered?

Project Roomkey launched in April 2020, soon after the pandemic began. The plan was to set up temporary shelter for up to 10,000 unhoused people in hotels and motels across the city. The long-term goal was a path towards permanent housing. Now, the project is beginning to phase out. Among the 37 properties that were part of Project Roomkey, only five are left including and only a few Roomkey hotels will provide shelter through September. Those who received housing at part of Project Roomkey are left wondering what’s next for them. On July 1st, The Mayfair Hotel in Downtown Los Angeles housed 215 people. Now, there are only two. The Los Angeles Homeless Service Authority, the organization behind Project Roomkey, was supposed to give people 90 days notice before their lease was up. Some residents say that’s happening, while others disagree. Today on AirTalk, we’re joined by anchor reporter at Spectrum News, Kate Cagle and executive director of the Los Angeles Community Action Network, Pete White to discuss the ending of Project Roomkey and what happens next for the thousands of people still in need of permanent housing when this program ends. (7/19)

The New York Times:
House Moves To Protect Same-Sex Marriage From Supreme Court Reversal

The House on Tuesday passed a bill that would recognize same-sex marriages at the federal level, with a bipartisan coalition supporting a measure that addresses growing concerns that a conservative Supreme Court could nullify marriage equality. Forty-seven Republicans joined Democrats in backing the bill, the Respect for Marriage Act, which would codify the federal protections for same-sex couples that were put in place in 2015, when the Supreme Court ruling in Obergefell v. Hodges established same-sex marriage as a right under the 14th Amendment. (Lai, 7/19)

White House Eyes Limited Abortion Health Emergency Declaration

White House officials plotting the administration’s post-Roe response are weighing a narrow public health directive aimed at safeguarding nationwide access to abortion pills, three people familiar with the discussions told POLITICO. (Cancryn, 7/19)

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