COVID County Update from July 13th Mtg
This item (59) was regarding providing the Board with an update on the COVID health response in the County.
There were a couple important stats:
Over the past few months, AA/Black communities made up 11.9% of all COVID cases in the County, BUT over the past 30 days that percentage rose to 22.1%. When you combine that 22.1% with the percentage of cases in the Hispanic community, it rises to 50% of all cases within the last 30 days. Woah!
During the last 30 days, 60.8% of the cases were amongst those 18-49 years old.
In terms of zip-codes, South Sac, South Natomas, North Highlands, and Arden Arcade saw the greatest increases in cases during the last 30 days.
For those who have received the vaccine/s the case rate was 2/100,000. For those who were not vaccinated, the rate was 12+/100,000.
What this means:
As Dr. Kasirye (Sacramento County Public Health Officer) pointed out, we need to continue our efforts to vaccinate as many people as possible, particularly in underserved areas, and within communities of color. Clearly this is a health equity issue - as evidenced by the statistics regarding the demographics of current case rates.
Dr. Kasirye gave a big shoutout to all the community-based organizations that are doing the on-the-ground work of getting people vaccinated. She also re-emphasized the need to remove barriers to getting vaccinations, especially because more vaccinated folx will improve the health of the entire County.
The Board comments:
Asked for a report on “vaccine related injuries” - meaning she wants to compare vax side effects to symptoms of COVID in kids - MEANING she’s basically advocating for kids not getting vaccinated. (see clip below) Dr. K reminded her that the VAERS reports (Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System) are publicly available, that more vaccinations make everyone more safe, and that there have been no adverse side effects documented in Sac County
Asked if the Delta variant will stall the progress towards herd immunity. Dr. K responded that although COVID cases are increasing, the vaccines have been shown to be effective against it.
Thought the message from the State was that masking requirements in schools would be left up to the districts. Staff and Dr. K clarified that the State has called for universal masking, but that enforcement will happen on a local level.
Inquired about what efforts had been the most effective in terms of getting reluctant folx to get vaccinated. Dr. K replied that the best strategy is to use pre-existing centers in the impacted communities, and to rely on the assistance of people who live in those communities themselves. This is a good reminder to empower folx from their own communities to effect positive change.
Serna & Nottoli
Both Supes inquired about the plans for using the grant funding that the County was given by the CDC. Serna asked specifically about one action item from the Racism as a Public Health Crisis resolution - the creation of a permanent Racial Equity Cabinet (REC). Dr. K replied that in general the CDC money would go towards fighting COVID and building public health infrastructure. In regard to the question about the REC, Dr. K said that Public Health may have a budget ask for it in September.
The public comments:
There were a mix of comments made in regard to this item. While there were some anti-vaxxers represented, fortunately there were also quite a few physicians who showed up in support of vaccination efforts, and in support of public health.