California COVID deaths among Latinos — among the populations hardest-hit by the pandemic — have declined, but advocates say more help is needed in order to help the community heal. The youngest Americans — children 6 months to 4 years old — became eligible for COVID-19 shots , kicking off the final leg of COVID vaccinations.
Sonoma County scaling back COVID response team
Sonoma County is trimming its coronavirus task force this week, reducing a temporary workforce of about 60 staff within the county health department by a third. County health officials told the Santa Rosa Press Democrat that the shift aligns with the evolving nature of the pandemic. It comes just ahead of a June 30 deadline when millions of dollars in government pandemic funding is set to run out. They said everyone knew the pandemic response would scale back at this time, with some workers notified last week and others sooner. “Many had already resigned weeks ago, and a month ago, because they knew that come June 30, the COVID response was being demobilized,” Health Services Director Tina Rivera told the newspaper. But many temporary workers were in the dark on details, and some providers operating clinics and COVID-19 services said they didn’t know until last week whether they would continue to be part of the county’s vaccination program after June 30, the newspaper reported.
CDC: Paxlovid prevented 99% of hospitalizations in patients with mild-to-moderate COVID
Fewer than 1% of COVID-19 patients required hospital admissions and emergency department encounters 5-15 days after completing Paxlovid treatment, a CDC study found using data from Kaiser Permanente Southern California. “The rarity of these outcomes is consistent with evidence from recent case reports and large observational studies, which found that symptoms experienced by patients with COVID-19 rebound after treatment with Paxlovid are milder than those experienced during the primary infection” and are unlikely to lead to hospitalization, the authors wrote. However, they indicated that further research is needed to determine the cause of rare rebound infections that can occur after taking Paxlovid: “The recurrence of COVID-19 symptoms after Paxlovid treatment might also be related to other factors, including viral reinfection or the emergence of treatment-resistant mutations.”
UCSF opens new psychiatry building aiming to “redefine mental health services”
UCSF is welcoming its first patients to one of the few buildings in the nation that combines outpatient mental health care for all ages with top programs in psychiatry and psychology training, the Nancy Friend Pritzker Psychiatry Building. UCSF said the timing of the opening coincides with the mental health crisis tied to the COVID pandemic, and the building aims to “redefine mental health services and make a bold statement against stigma.” The five-story,150,000-square-foot building is seen as a departure from traditional psychiatry facilities, with its “central location and proximity to transportation hubs, together with its light-filled atrium and interior transparency” that “signal openness to the community outside, as well as within the building itself.” Matthew W. State, chair and Oberndorf Family Distinguished Professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, emphasized the building’s features of light and nature aiming to integrate physical and mental health services and “healing in a low-stress environment.”
California COVID death rates for Latinos have declined, but advocates say more help is needed
The success of vaccination campaigns has narrowed disparities in COVID death rates in California , especially for the Latino community, which has been disproportionately affected with coronavirus infection during the pandemic. Since the state began tracking deaths in April 2020, more than 91,000 Californians have died from COVID-19 — approximately 230 deaths per 100,000 people — according to the Public Policy Institute of California.
Will the Bay Area’s massive outdoor parades and protests spur any outbreaks?
A spate of massive outdoor crowd events swept through the Bay Area over the past week, with the region still beset by fast-spreading offshoots of the omicron coronavirus variant. Risk of transmission is less outside than indoors, and the region is comparatively highly vaccinated, so it’s not known to if outbreaks might occur such as those tied to some crowded festivals and events elsewhere, San Francisco’s Pride parade on Sunday was estimated at 500,000 celebrants who marched and mingled along Market Street for four hours and ended up at a pulsating party at the Civic Center. That followed numerous protest gatherings with people converging in the streets after the Supreme Court overturned the Roe v. Wade ruling on abortion rights. And the week kicked off with throngs also crowding Market to celebrate the NBA championship of the Golden State Warriors. All involved people in close proximity for extended periods.