California coronavirus updates: COVID-era safety net programs helped lower California’s poverty rate

Find an updated number of COVID-19 cases in California and by county on our tracker here.

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COVID-era safety net programs have helped lower California’s poverty rate

Yolo County health officials say not enough residents vaccinated against omicron subvariant

Two California public health experts say a surge of COVID-19 could be coming soon

Former Connecticut lawmaker pleads guilty to stealing $1.2 million in COVID-19 aid

Afraid of needles? China uses inhalable COVID-19 vaccine

COVID-19 in numbers

tuesday november 8

1:53 p.m.: COVID-era safety net programs have helped lower California’s poverty rate

Poverty has plummeted in California during the COVID pandemic, thanks in large part to state and national safety net programs.

According to the Public Policy Institute of California, a major driver of this development has been the expansion of federal child tax credits. However, there is a deadline for filing these tax credits – November 17 – prompting state attorneys and lawmakers to sound the alarm.

The nonprofit estimates that about 290,000 California children living in or near poverty may miss out on the 2021 Child Tax Benefit, leaving $928 million on the table.

Indeed, 37% of people who became eligible under the 2021 guidelines – mostly those earning little or no income – may be unaware that they need to complete income tax forms to receive the credit.

Experts warn that poverty would double without CalFresh and the federal child tax credit, leading some experts to argue that COVID-era stimulus should be extended.

monday november 7

1:19 p.m.: Yolo County health officials say not enough residents vaccinated against omicron subvariant

Yolo County health officials say a “disappointing” number of residents are receiving booster shots to protect against emerging omicron subvariants.

Brian Vaughn, the county’s director of public health, told the oversight board that only about 10% of eligible residents received the bivalent booster.

“According to our latest data, only 4% of Latinos in Yolo County received the bivalent booster, compared to 15% of non-Hispanic whites,” he said. “Nearly 20% of Davis residents received the booster vs. 7% of West residents [Sacramento] and 8% in the woods and winters.

Vaughn, too, the health department is trying to expand the reach and get more people vaccinated. In partnership with the City of Davis, the department will host an immunization clinic at the Davis Senior Center on Tuesday. Pfizer bivalent and influenza vaccines will be available.

sunday november 6

12:58 p.m.: Two California public health experts say a surge of COVID-19 could be coming soon

Dr. Robert Wachter, chairman of the department of medicine at UC San Francisco, and Dr. Erica Pan, epidemiologist for the state of California, seem confident that a next surge of COVID-19 is likely this winter.

“Winter will drive people indoors,” Wachter said. “There are these new variants coming out that are at least somewhat immune evasive.”

Both cited that the long COVID is still a big concern as well as getting reminders, especially for older and younger Californians.

“It’s those kinds of extreme ages that are at risk for more severe disease,” Pan said. “I want to emphasize to all parents or grandparents, encourage your families to have your children vaccinated.

Learn more here.

friday november 4

1:58 p.m.: Former Connecticut lawmaker pleads guilty to stealing $1.2 million in COVID-19 aid

A former Connecticut state representative has pleaded guilty to stealing more than $1.2 million in federal coronavirus relief funds from the city of West Haven.

As reported by the Associated PressMichael DiMassa, a Democrat from West Haven, appeared in federal court in Hartford and pleaded guilty to three counts of wire fraud conspiracy.

DiMassa’s wife and former business partner also pleaded guilty earlier this year, while a fourth person charged in the scheme awaits trial.

At the time of the robbery, DiMssa was both a state representative and an aide to the West Haven City Council.

Prosecutors allege he used his position in the city to steal COVID-19 relief funds, some of which he used for casino gambling.

He resigned from his two posts after his arrest last year. Two other people – his wife and business partner – have also pleaded guilty, while a fourth person is awaiting trial.

Thursday, November 3

1:41 p.m .: Afraid of needles? China uses inhalable COVID-19 vaccine

The Chinese city of Shanghai has started administering an inhalable COVID-19 vaccine in what appears to be a world first, according to The Associated Press.

The vaccine, a mist that is sucked in through the mouth, is offered free of charge as a booster dose for those already vaccinated, according to an announcement posted on an official social media account for the city.

Needle-free vaccines can persuade people who don’t like getting vaccinated to get vaccinated, as well as expand vaccinations in poor countries because they’re easier to administer.

China has no vaccination mandate but wants people to receive reminders before easing strict pandemic restrictions that are dampening the economy and increasingly out of sync with the rest of the world.

Wednesday, November 2

12:52 p.m .: Health officials worry about “tridemic” — flu, COVID-19 and RSV

California health officials are worried about both fun and circulation of COVID-19 this fall and winter — but some are also worried about another virus that could create a “tridemic” threat.

It’s respiratory syncytial virus, also known as RSV, and it’s of particular concern in children.

Yuba and Sutter Counties Health Officer Dr. Phuong Luu is sounding the alarm.

“We see a resource of that, and there are even isolated clusters, not necessarily locally, but in other countries that we’ve heard about in California and elsewhere in the United States,” Luu said.

According to the California Department of Public Health, RSV is the most common cause of bronchiolitis and pneumonia in infants. It is also a cause of serious illness in adults over 65 years of age.

Luu said while cases are currently low in Northern State, it is only a matter of time before the region sees cases rise.

“We are only at the beginning of the fall season. So we expect there will be clusters of outbreaks as we go further into winter,” he said.

Symptoms include a runny nose, fever, cough and wheezing. The state health department says young children and infants with RSV may not have a fever but be lethargic, irritable and have little interest in food.

There is currently no vaccine against RSV, but progress has been made in development.

Luu said the best way to protect yourself is to get vaccinated against COVID-19 and the flu. Also, stay home when you or your children are sick to stop the spread.

12:30 p.m.: Disneyland in Shanghai has temporarily closed the park with visitors inside due to a possible COVID-19 outbreak

Visitors to Shanghai Disneyland have been temporarily barred from leaving as part of virus testing that the city government said extended to 439,000 people.

According to The Associated Press, Walt Disney Co and city government assistance, the park closed Monday for virus testing of staff and visitors.

They gave no details of an outbreak, but last week 1.3 million people in a Shanghai district were told to stay home for testing.

The city government said all Disneyland visitors left Monday night. Social media posts said some entertainment continued to operate for guests who were not allowed to leave. China is sticking to a “Zero COVID” strategy that aims to isolate every case.

tuesday november 1

12:43 p.m .: Strong RSV vaccine data raises hopes for development after years of futility

A new study suggests that vaccinating pregnant women protects their newborn babies against the common but frightening respiratory virus called RSV. The virus is a nuisance for most healthy people, but it can be serious for babies and the elderly.

As the Associated Press reports, efforts to create a vaccine have failed for decades, but some recent promising studies offer hope that we may finally be getting closer.

Pfizer has announced preliminary results for its pregnancy vaccine – a vaccine it has also successfully tested in the elderly.

Rival GlaxoSmithKlein has also reported success with its vaccine versions in the elderly.

12:02 p.m .: Workers reportedly leave Apple product factory amid COVID-19 curbs

Workers at a manufacturing plant in central China’s Zhengzhou city appear to have left to avoid COVID-19 restrictions.

Many were traveling on foot days after an unknown number of workers at the Foxconn factory – the factory that makes Apple products – were quarantined at the facility following an outbreak of the virus.

According to The Associated Press, videos on Chinese social media platforms show suspected Foxconn workers scaling fences and carrying their belongings on foot down the road.

The Foxconn factory in Zhengzhou is one of the largest factories in China that assembles Apple products, including its latest iPhone 14 devices.

Cities surrounding Zhengzhou have called on Foxconn workers to report their return in advance so they can undergo appropriate isolation measures.

Find older coronavirus updates on our previous blog page here.

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