California Gov. Newsom Gives Vaccine, School Reopening Update
Gov. Gavin Newsom on Monday delivered an update on California's vaccination and school reopening efforts. That followed an announcement this morning that the state has allocated 25,000 vaccine doses over the next two weeks for Los Angeles school employees.
You can read highlights below and watch the full video above.
LATEST CORONAVIRUS AND VACCINATION NUMBERS
There have been 9.1 million vaccinations administered in California so far, with the positivity rate down to 2.3% based on 243,000 tests conducted in the most recent reporting period. There were 3,500 new cases of COVID-19 statewide yesterday. Both hospitalizations and ICU admissions are down 41.2% over the past two weeks.
The state expects seven additional counties to move into the red reopening tier starting Tuesday.
REOPENING SCHOOLS ACROSS CALIFORNIA
Newsom said the state will set aside at least 10 percent of the doses needed to vaccinate teachers throughout the state, a minimum of 75,000 doses statewide. Thursday and Friday are going to be educator-exclusive days at the FEMA-supported mass vaccination sites in the state, including in Southern California — any vaccine doses given out on those days don't come from the 75,000 allocated doses.
Newsom stressed the importance of not just racial and economic equity, but also gender equity in the distribution of the vaccine. He cited in particular single mothers who will be helped by schools reopening.
The state's school reopening plan, which costs $6.6 billion, has been agreed on by state legislative leaders, with a vote set for Thursday. That includes $2 billion for grants meant for in-person instruction. The state has set aside three months of free PPE for schools. The money can be used for ventilation, spacing and other issues related to health and safety.
The other $4.6 billion is meant to be used for reimagining the school year, such as dealing with learning loss, potentially extending the school year into the summer, and examining other options for readjusting how schools are dealing with pandemic reopening.
The state expects all TK-2 classrooms will be open within the next month, and it wants to see more going forward — that includes TK-6 grades opening in red tier counties along with a commitment to one grade in middle and high schools.
Those of greatest need will return first, including homeless children, foster children, those without internet or internet devices, English-as-a-second-language learners, and special needs children.
As negotiations continue, Newsom declined to comment on a number of questions about teachers unions, who have yet to agree to all of the state's reopening plans.
Newsom was joined by other state and local officials.