It has now been nearly a year and a half since the first case of Covid-19 in California. This pandemic has been difficult for all and devastating for many; but we are now seeing numerous encouraging developments in the fight against the pandemic. I thought it might be helpful to hear about some of the positive developments, which have taken place over the past couple of months. On April 6, 2021, California Governor Gavin Newsome announced that if the current progress against the pandemic continues, California is on track to re-open all businesses effective June 15! On April 14, the Governor announced that he anticipates that California students will be able to return to school in person this August. According to the CDC, on April 27th, California had the lowest Covid-19 case rate of any state in the country! On April 30, Disneyland re-opened at 25% capacity with masks. On May 12, the CDC approved the Pfizer Covid-19 vaccine to be used in children as young as 12 years, greatly expanding the availability of vaccine to adolescents.
All patients age 12 and older are now eligible to receive the Covid-19 vaccination in the State of California. To date more than 1.9 million vaccine doses have been administered in Riverside County (population of approximately 2.5 million). I recommend that each person discuss the risks and benefits of the various vaccines with their doctor to determine if the Covid-19 vaccine is right for them. One of the most challenging aspects of the Covid-19 pandemic has been protecting our frail elderly residents who are most susceptible to the serious adverse effects of infection with Covid-19. As more and more residents and health care workers have been able to immunize against Covid-19, we have seen a continued drop in the number of new cases in nursing home residents over the past several months.
On May 21, the Riverside County Department of Public Health launched a new program to provide Covid-19 vaccinations to homebound patients within Riverside County who are unable to leave their home to receive the vaccine. The Riverside county Department of Public Health has signed a $300,000 agreement with United Lab Services to provide Covid immunizations to those patients who are homebound and not able to leave their home to receive the Covid vaccine. if you know of a homebound patient who would like to be added to the list of homebound individuals seeking vaccination, call 833-422-4255, or click https://myturn.ca.gov/ to find out information regarding the available vaccination program near you.