California coronavirus updates: Grand jury finds Sacramento County Council undermined public health response during pandemic

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Grand jury finds Sacramento County Council undermined public health response during pandemic

Biden administration greenlights another COVID-19 reminder for people 50 and older

COVID-19 hospitalizations in the United States have fallen to their lowest levels

China sends military to help lock down Shanghai

Congressional COVID-19 deal cut by $10 billion moves forward

COVID-19 in numbers

Monday april 4th

1:57 p.m.: Grand jury finds Sacramento County Council undermined public health response during pandemic

A scathing Sacramento County grand jury report released Monday afternoon accuses the County Board of Supervisors of ignoring public health officer Dr. Olivia Kasirye’s request for assistance in the pandemic response. of COVID for five months.

The grand jury concluded that “Council apathy during the most significant public health emergency in more than a century, which affected every resident of Sacramento County, delayed needed funding for the OPH program and undermined the enforcement of public health orders”.

The grand jury concluded that the Public Health Officer’s COVID response activities should have been the Board of Supervisors’ top priority and recommends that the County Board of Supervisors, County Executive, and County Office of public health jointly develop a public health emergency response plan. .

9:43 a.m.: Biden administration greenlights another COVID-19 reminder for people 50 and older

The Biden administration has given the go-ahead for another COVID-19 vaccine booster for people age 50 and older and some immunocompromised people.

As reported by NPRthey can now receive another Moderna or Pfizer-BioNTech booster at least four months after their last dose.

But just because you can get an extra booster, does that mean you need it?

Health officials say the protection provided by booster shots of the COVID-19 vaccine diminishes over time. And they worry about people considered most at risk of contracting severe COVID.

But the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention hasn’t said how urgently people should line up for a second booster. The agency says these groups are “eligible” for the snaps, but refrained from saying whether they should get them.

Some infectious disease experts say not everyone in this age group needs another booster now.

9:33 am: COVID-19 hospitalizations in the United States have fallen to their lowest levels

The number of COVID-19 hospitalizations has plunged to its lowest level since the summer of 2020, providing a well-deserved break for healthcare workers and patients following the omicron surge.

According to the Associated Pressthe number of patients hospitalized with the coronavirus has dropped by more than 90% in more than two months, and some hospitals are going days without a single COVID-19 patient in intensive care for the first time since early 2020.

The beds freed up should help US hospitals retain exhausted staff, treat non-COVID-19 patients faster and cut bloated costs.

More family members can visit loved ones, and doctors hope to see a downward correction in pediatric visits, annual exams and cancer screenings.

“We should all be smiling that the number of people sitting in hospital right now with COVID, and people in intensive care units with COVID, is at this low point,” said the University of South Florida Jason Salemi.

But, he said, the nation “has paid a high price to get to this point. … Many people got sick and many people died.

9:16 am: China sends military to help lock down Shanghai

China has sent more than 10,000 health workers from across the country to Shanghai, including 2,000 military medical personnel.

According to the Associated Press, they are struggling to eradicate a rapidly spreading COVID-19 outbreak in China’s largest city.

Shanghai is carrying out mass testing of its 25 million people as what was supposed to be a two-phase lockdown entered its second week.

Many factories and financial firms have been able to continue operating by isolating their employees, but concern is growing over the potential economic impact of a prolonged lockdown in China’s financial capital, which is also a major shipping and processing hub. manufacturing.

friday april 1st

10:13 a.m.: Congressional reduced $10 billion COVID-19 deal moves forward

Federal lawmakers are set to strike a scaled-down bipartisan compromise to provide an additional $10 billion to fight COVID-19.

According to the Associated Press, which could set up final congressional approval next week. The price was down from an earlier $15.6 billion deal between the two sides that collapsed weeks ago after House Democrats rejected cuts to unused pandemic aid to states to help pay for it.

President Joe Biden previously asked for $22.5 billion in early March. While leaders hoped to get the package through Congress quickly, the falling costs appeared to reflect both parties’ calculations that it would be too difficult to agree on additional savings quickly.

The effort, which would fund steps like vaccines, treatments and testing, comes as Biden and other Democrats have warned the government is running out of money to tackle the pandemic. At the same time, the more transmissible variant of the omicron, BA.2, spread rapidly in the United States and abroad.

9:41 a.m.: Relaxing coronavirus protections could hurt Medicaid recipients and cause major system disruptions, experts say

When the declared end of the COVID-19 pandemic arrives, it could create major disruptions for health care in the United States, reports the Associated Press.

Experts say the cumbersome healthcare system has been made more generous, flexible and technologically up-to-date thanks to a series of emergency measures.

The removal of these temporary policies could begin as soon as the summer if the Biden administration ends a federal public health emergency that has been in effect for more than two years.

A change like this would force about 15 million Medicaid beneficiaries to find new sources of coverage and would require congressional action to preserve broad access to telehealth for Medicare enrollees.

It would also blur COVID-19 rules and payment policies for hospitals, doctors, insurers and patients.

9:25 a.m.: Shanghai enters second part of COVID-19 lockdown

About 16 million Shanghai residents are being tested for the coronavirus as a phased lockdown moves to the western half of China’s largest city and financial capital, according to The Associated Press.

Meanwhile, eastern districts that were supposed to end their lockdowns have been told it could be extended in places where COVID-19 cases are discovered. The lockdown in the city of 26million has rattled global markets, worried about the possible economic impact.

Residents sent to designated testing sites were greeted with long lines and waits of more than 90 minutes. Sick people are sent to hospitals and people who test positive without any symptoms are sent to temporary isolation centers, including gymnasiums.

Find older coronavirus updates on our previous blog page here

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