Thursday, July 29, 2021 | California Healthline

San Francisco Chronicle:
Facebook To Require Vaccinations In U.S. Offices, Joining Google

Facebook will require all employees in U.S. offices to be vaccinated, hours after Google mandated the same for its campuses. “As our offices reopen, we will be requiring anyone coming to work at any of our U.S. campuses to be vaccinated. How we implement this policy will depend on local conditions and regulations,” said Lori Goler, Facebook vice president of people, in a statement. (Li, 7/28)

Facebook Requiring U.S. Employees To Be Vaccinated To Return To Work

Facebook will require U.S. workers returning to its offices to be vaccinated, the company said on Wednesday. “As our offices reopen, we will be requiring anyone coming to work at any of our US campuses to be vaccinated,” VP of People Lori Goler said in a statement. “How we implement this policy will depend on local conditions and regulations.” Facebook will create processes for those who can’t be vaccinated for medical or other reasons, Goler said. The company will continue to evaluate its approach outside the U.S., Goler added. (Feiner, 7/28)

San Francisco Chronicle:
Twitter Closes S.F. And New York Offices As Delta Variant Spreads

Twitter has closed its San Francisco and New York offices just two weeks after reopening them as virus cases surge. “After careful consideration of the CDC’s updated guidelines, and in light of current conditions, Twitter has made the decision to close our opened offices in New York and San Francisco as well as pause future office reopenings, effective immediately,” the company said. (Li, 7/28)

The Wall Street Journal:
Apple To Require Employees, Customers To Wear Masks In Many U.S. Stores 

Apple Inc. plans to require employees and customers to wear masks in more than half its U.S. retail stores regardless of their vaccination status, according to a memo sent to some of its workers Wednesday. The Cupertino, Calif., company has also told employees working in its corporate offices that they must wear masks inside those buildings even if they have been vaccinated. Bloomberg News earlier reported the new mask policies. (Olson, 7/28)

CBS News:
From Apple And Google To Indeed, COVID-19 Variants Delay The Return To Office 

Apple CEO Tim Cook acknowledged the unpredictable nature of COVID-19 and the Delta variant, in particular, which has forced corporations like his to backtrack on plans to reopen fully. “As the last 18 months have demonstrated many times before, progress made is not progress guaranteed. An uneven recovery to the pandemic and the Delta variant surging in many countries around the world have shown us once again that the road to recovery will be a winding one,” Cook said on a conference call Tuesday. (Cerullo, 7/28)

The New York Times:
Here’s How Companies Are Responding To The Rise In Virus Cases

Companies are revisiting coronavirus precautions as cases rise across the United States, fueled by the Delta variant. Lyft said on Wednesday that it would not require employees to return to the office until February, while Twitter said it would close its newly reopened offices in San Francisco and New York and indefinitely postpone other reopening plans. (7/29)

Southern California News Group:
Disneyland Requires All Visitors To Wear Masks Indoors Regardless Of Vaccination Status 

Disneyland will require all visitors — regardless of their vaccination status — to wear masks indoors once again after the Center for Disease Control and Prevention and the California Department of Public Health updated recommendations amid a spike in COVID-19 delta variant cases. “We are adapting our health and safety guidelines based on guidance from health and government officials and will require cast members and guests ages 2 and up to wear face coverings in all indoor locations at Walt Disney World resort and Disneyland resort beginning Friday, July 30, regardless of vaccination status,” according to Disney officials. (MacDonald, 7/29)

Los Angeles Daily News:
LA Business Groups Ask Health Officials Provide Clarity, Advance Notice About Mask Mandate 

Five business groups reached out to Los Angeles County health officials, expressing their concerns over the rollout of the recent mask mandate which requires all county residents, regardless of vaccination status, to wear masks in all indoor public places. In a letter to the Department of Public Health, the groups said the mandate was announced “mere days before it was to take effect, with no opportunity for input or warning for the business community.” (Grigoryants, 7/28)

San Francisco Chronicle:
S.F. Considers Mandating Masks Indoors Regardless Of Vaccination Status

Mayor London Breed said Wednesday that San Francisco is exploring how it can “go further with its vaccine mandate” and also considering an indoor mask mandate for everyone, regardless of vaccination status. Breed mentioned the possibility of an indoor mask mandate at a news conference Wednesday, shortly before she spoke to a large, unmasked — but fully vaccinated — crowd at Manny’s on Valencia Street. (Thadani, 7/28)

San Francisco Chronicle:
Frustration With The Unvaccinated Mounts Even As Many Bay Area Residents Welcome New Mask Guidance

In the Bay Area, where universal masking recommendations have been in effect for all counties but Solano for nearly two weeks, many people interviewed by The Chronicle on Wednesday expressed near-unanimous support for masking up again for the sake of protecting others — especially younger children, who aren’t eligible to be vaccinated yet. But for some, the acceptance is mixed with disappointment and defeat. (Ho, Rubenstein and Echeverria, 7/28)

Sacramento Bee:
What To Know About New COVID Mask Guidance In California 

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said Tuesday that people should wear masks regardless of vaccination status in 45 counties combining for about 96% of California’s population, and state health officials on Wednesday recommended, but did not mandate, universal indoor masks statewide. Individual counties are allowed to impose stricter rules than the state. Los Angeles County reintroduced a mask mandate in mid-July, and Yolo County announced Tuesday it will once again make masks mandatory beginning this Friday. (McGough, 7/28)

Orange County Register:
Placentia-Yorba Linda School Board Wants Face Masks To Be Optional 

School board members in the Placentia-Yorba Linda Unified School District plan to ask health officials to revise their guidance on face coverings by making them optional in schools and school-based programs. The board voted 3-2 Tuesday night on a resolution to formally ask the California Department of Public Health to give schools the choice of having students mask up. Board members Marilyn Anderson, Leandra Blades and Shawn Youngblood voted for the resolution while Karin Freeman and Carrie Buck voted against it. (Kopetman, 7/28)

Orange County Register:
Anti-Mask Huntington Beach Restaurant Took PPP Funds While Rejecting Safety Regulations 

A Huntington Beach restaurant that has been outspoken in its defiance of state and federal COVID-19 recommendations, such as masks and vaccines, accepted money from the government’s Paycheck Protection Program. Despite its vehement anti-state and federal government social media postings, Basilico’s Pasta E Vino has accepted $57,738 in PPP funds, according to ProPublica’s Small Business Administration loan database. The federal government offered the assistance as a lifeline to small businesses during the coronavirus pandemic to help cover payroll costs. (Valdespino, 7/29)

Los Angeles Times:
Biden Expected To Push Vaccine For Federal Workers 

President Biden has tried pleading, cajoling and coaxing Americans to get vaccinated against the coronavirus. Now he could require some of them to do it. As the federal government’s chief executive — essentially, the boss of a very large corporation funded by taxpayers — he is expected to announce Thursday that federal employees will need to get vaccinated or face regular testing for the coronavirus. (Megerian, 7/29)

Sacramento Bee:
Sacramento Employees May Need Vaccine Or Regular Testing 

Sacramento Mayor Darrell Steinberg wants to require city employees to either provide proof of vaccination or be subject to weekly COVID-19 tests, mirroring the policy Gov. Gavin Newsom announced earlier this week for state workers. “I believe strongly that this idea is also the right idea for the city of Sacramento and its workforce,” Steinberg said during Tuesday’s City Council meeting. (McGough, 7/28)

In Some Areas, Sacramento’s Immunization Rates Are Flagging. Here’s Why That’s Happening

As the Delta variant of COVID-19 continues to spread rapidly, causing case rates to increase dramatically, Sacramento community leaders and county officials have one message: For your community’s health and your own, get vaccinated. In California, about 60% of all residents are at least partially vaccinated. Sacramento County falls short of that, with 55% of people receiving at least one dose of the vaccine. (Salanga, 7/28)

Southern California News Group:
If You’re Stuck At Home, Here’s How LA County Residents Can Get Vaccinated 

Netflix and Hulu? Check. And you’ve got Alexa and Siri, for instant answers, right? Check. And now, in Los Angeles County, you can get an on-demand COVID-19 vaccine. That’s right. In a world of in-home services — and at a time of urgent concern that not enough people are  getting their shots to fend off the coronavirus — the vaccines can come to you. At least that’s what Public Health officials want to remind you about this week. (Carter, 7/28)

Bay Area News Group:
San Jose Unified Mandates Vaccination Or Testing For Teachers And Staff

San Jose Unified School District will require teachers and staff to either be vaccinated or tested twice a week for the coronavirus, making the district of 30,000 students potentially the first in the Bay Area to announce such a policy. District spokesperson Jennifer Maddox was unaware of other districts in the region adopting similar policies but said “I suspect that’s going to be the direction most districts go” as concerns grow about rising infection rates driven by the more contagious delta variant of the virus that causes COVID-19. (Selig and Woolfolk, 7/28)

Los Angeles Times:
Can My Employer Make Me Get A COVID Vaccine? What To Know 

Los Angeles and a growing number of other government entities are taking a new stand in the fight against the coronavirus. They are requiring employees to provide proof of vaccination against COVID-19 or undergo weekly testing to show they are negative for the illness. The move gets to the heart of an issue that both public and private employers have been grappling with: Can companies require workers to be vaccinated? (Dolan, 7/28)

The Santa Rosa Press Democrat:
Lake County Health Officials Report Highest COVID-19 Case Rate In California

Lake County health officials reported Wednesday the daily coronavirus case rate has reached 50 per 100,000 residents, the highest level of virus transmission in California. The county’s infection rate far exceeds the state average and that of any other county statewide, officials said. The county’s test positivity level, the share of COVID-19 tests that are positive, is now 17.4%, a dramatic jump from 1% in mid-June. (Espinoza, 7/28)

Bay Area News Group:
COVID In California: 36 Counties Would Now Qualify For Purple Tier, As Delta Surge Continues 

As the delta variant surges across California, more than half of the Golden State’s 58 counties would now qualify for the most-restrictive purple tier under the state’s recently-retired color-coded blueprint for regulating businesses, schools and social gatherings. Thirty-six counties have COVID case rates that top the threshold — triple the number from last week, according to an analysis by the Bay Area News Group. (Rowan, 7/28)

Southern California News Group:
Delta Variant’s Spike Sparking Scores Of Workplace Coronavirus Outbreaks Around LA County 

Fueled by rapid spread of the Delta variant, at least 140 recent coronavirus outbreaks have struck workplaces in Los Angeles County — a 150% increase since the middle of July — officials said Wednesday, July 28. Meanwhile, public health leaders posted another 15 virus-related deaths and 2,454 new cases. The outbreaks illustrate that the virus is still alive and spreading in the county as well as statewide. California leaders rekindled the state’s indoor-mask guidance Wednesday, echoing the county’s revived mandate of nearly two weeks ago. (Carter, 7/28)

Orange County Register:
Coronavirus Tracker: L.A. County Reported 2,454 New Cases And 15 New Deaths, July 28

Los Angeles County public health officials reported 2,454 new cases of the coronavirus, bringing the total number of cases to 1,290,226 as of Wednesday, July 28. Officials reported 15 new deaths linked to the coronavirus, for a total 24,658 deaths since tracking began. There were 66 more hospitalizations reported since Tuesday, increasing the official count of hospitalizations to 891, with 22% in ICU. (Goertzen, 7/28)

Fresno Bee:
Fresno County Experience Rise Of COVID-19 Cases Amongst Youth 

More and more of the younger population in Fresno County is catching COVID-19, the Fresno County Department of Public Health reported on Wednesday. In the same week that coronavirus cases and hospitalizations have increased across the state, the Fresno County Department of Public Heath (FCDPH) said those under 18 years old have gone to the emergency room for COVID-19 symptoms than those by the 65+ population. (Anteola, 7/28)

Southern California News Group:
World Champion Pole Vaulter Sam Kendricks Out Of Olympics With COVID-19

United States pole vaulter Sam Kendricks, winner of the last two World Championships, has tested positive for COVID-19 and will miss the Olympic Games. Kendricks’ positive test was announced by USA Track & Field and could have major ramifications for a U.S. track team that is expected to dominate the competition in Tokyo. … The Oceanside native and former Ole Miss standout is the American record-holder at 19-feet, 10 1/2 inches, equal to the fourth highest vault in history. (Reid, 7/29)

The Santa Rosa Press Democrat:
Sam Jones Homeless Shelter Resident Dies Of COVID-19 Complications

A resident at the Samuel L. Jones Hall homeless shelter has died of complications of the coronavirus, the first death in a nearly monthlong outbreak that has overwhelmed Sonoma County’s largest shelter. The man who died was between 50 and 64 years old, was not vaccinated and had underlying health issues, county officials said, declining to provide more information about him. He died on Sunday at an unidentified local hospital. His death was the eleventh local fatality in July and No. 330 in Sonoma County since the pandemic began in March 2020. (Varian, 7/28)

Los Angeles Times:
State Fines El Super Grocery Chain $447,000 For Failing To Provide COVID Sick Leave

The California Labor Commissioner has cited three El Super grocery stores for failing to provide or delaying supplemental paid sick leave to dozens of workers affected by the coronavirus. Bodega Latina Corp., which operates the El Super chain, was fined more than $447,000 on Thursday for alleged violations affecting 95 workers at El Super stores in Los Angeles, Lynwood and Victorville. (Miller, 7/28)

East Bay Times:
California Health Exchange Rates To Increase 1.8% In 2022 

Individual insurance premiums on California’s health exchange for the uninsured will go up 1.8% on average next year — a low increase credited to record enrollment and increased competition among health carriers, officials announced Wednesday. In the last year, nearly 250,000 people purchased insurance through Covered California, bringing its total enrollment to 1.6 million people. (Rodriguez, 7/29)

Sacramento Bee:
Sacramento County Wants To Reinvent Its Medi-Cal Program 

A new 20-member body called the Health Authority Commission is focused on improving the quality of services for Medi-Cal enrollees. Its first order of business is to cut the number of health plans down from five to two or three. “Before we had a monitoring body which had very little ability to influence any aspect of how plans perform in the county,” said Chet Madison, CEO of the Sierra Health Foundation, who chairs the commission. (Finch II, 7/29)

As Sacramento Summers Heat Up, Community Members Help To Keep Neighbors Cool 

Sacramento has seen its fair share of 100-degree weekends this summer, prompting cooling centers — air-conditioned indoor locations where people can keep cool, grab water and get snacks — to make their return. During the most recent span of excessive heat — July 9 to 11 when temperatures topped 110 degrees — the City of Sacramento opened three locations at Hagginwood Community Center, Hart Senior Center and Capitol City Seventh-Day Adventist Church. Those were supplemented by five other county cooling centers opened by Sacramento County, at 2700 Fulton Ave., 5747 Watt Ave., 2450 Florin Rd., 3960 Research Dr. and 1725 28th St. (Salanga, 7/28)

Sacramento Bee:
Dixie Fire Keeps Growing; Latest On Tamarack 

After cool weather provided a brief respite early in the week for those fighting the Dixie Fire, warmer temperatures and stronger winds roared the fire’s leading edge back to life Wednesday, sending smoke into the Sacramento Valley and continuing to threaten homes in Butte, Plumas and Tehama counties. Officials warned Wednesday that the weather changes could lead to “unstable” fire patterns through the week. (Davidson, 7/28)

Sacramento Bee:
Dixie Fire Smoke Is Now Visible In The Sacramento Area 

Smoke coming from the massive Dixie Fire, burning about 100 miles north of the city, has pushed air quality in Sacramento into the unhealthy range Wednesday. Air quality monitors from the Sacramento Metropolitan Air Pollution Control District registered an AQI reading of 172, or “unhealthy,” downtown just after noon, and a reading of 205, or “very unhealthy,” in Arden Arcade around 3 p.m. (Davidson, 7/28)

Bay Area News Group:
Water Shortages And Drought Are California’s Biggest Environmental Concern, New Poll Shows

After the two driest consecutive years in much of California in nearly half a century, reservoir levels are dropping. Lawns are brown. Water restrictions are increasing. And Californians are getting worried. Asked to name the environmental issue they are most concerned about, more California residents cited water shortages and drought than any other, according to a new poll released Wednesday by the Public Policy Institute of California, a non-partisan research organization in San Francisco. (Rogers, 7/28)

The Bakersfield Californian:
Assemblyman Salas Secures $6 Million For Bakersfield College Health Education Programs 

Bakersfield College has reason to celebrate this week after getting word that the local community college will receive an additional $6 million in state funding secured by Assemblymember Rudy Salas, D-Bakersfield. According to twin news releases from BC and Salas’ office, the funding will help the college expand and implement workforce training programs related to nursing and health care. (Mayer, 7/28)

Los Angeles Times:
How CERT Can Help Your Community Get Ready For An Earthquake 

Imagine that the Big One has just hit. You had already participated in the Los Angeles Times’ Unshaken newsletter series, so you were better prepared for a major earthquake than most, but you’ve still been affected. Sirens of emergency response vehicles are miles away, but you and your neighbors need help now. If you’re anything like the residents of the Knolls of Murrieta, a group of three 55-plus communities in Riverside County, you know exactly what to do. That’s because the neighborhoods participate in the Community Emergency Response Team, or CERT, and Map Your Neighborhood programs. (Amato, 7/28)

Los Angeles Times:
L.A. Council Gives Final Approval To Anti-Camping Law 

The Los Angeles City Council gave final approval on Wednesday to an ordinance outlawing camping around parks, libraries and other facilities, over objections from critics who said it would punish people for living on the streets. The measure, approved on a 13-2 vote, had been billed as a more humane way to clear the city’s sidewalks, alleys and open spaces, with outreach teams offering shelter and services before any enforcement takes place. (Zahniser and Oreskes, 7/28)