Lake County Likely to Join Orange Tier 4/14 — Vaccines Key to Safe Reopening — https://MyTurn.ca.gov
Lake County, CA (April 9, 2021) — Lake County’s Case Rate remains significantly lower than our late January peak. If current trends hold, we will move into the Orange tier for the first time Wednesday, April 14. This is really encouraging, as more indoor activities will be permitted, and businesses long held back will be able to accommodate more customers. Maintaining precautions like masking and continuing and accelerating progress on community vaccination are keys to sustained reopening. View activities available in the Orange Tier by selecting a county currently in that tier (such as Sonoma) here: https://covid19.ca.gov/safer-economy/
“New COVID cases we are seeing now are all in unvaccinated people; they are still getting the virus, spreading it to their family and friends, and can get severely sick”
In many ways, we are progressing toward normalcy. Plans are being made for in-person graduations. Sports activities are more frequent. People are generally more comfortable moving around town. These are very exciting changes, and we are all so happy to be feeling the freedom to participate in these activities again.
As restrictions relax, we must maintain awareness COVID-19 is present in our communities; failing to do so can have severe consequences. Fully vaccinated people are much safer when out and about, but they should still use masks and avoid very high-risk situations. State Guidance for vaccinated people engaging in activities will soon be available.
Unvaccinated individuals face more restrictions and more worries, moving forward. New COVID cases we are seeing now are all in unvaccinated people; they are still getting the virus, spreading it to their family and friends, and can get severely sick. We are just not seeing these severe outcomes among vaccinated people in Lake County.
Some events are expected to require evidence of vaccination for entry. Others will require either a recent negative test or proof of vaccination. Many people find these types of requirements worrisome, but they are a strategy to more rapidly allow more activities, while preventing further spread of this virus that has impacted our lives so significantly in the last year.
Bottom line: COVID-19 remains a clear and present threat to many people and activities we hold dear. For almost all people, it is advisable to get vaccinated as soon as possible - with tens of thousands of doses administered at Public Health’s clinics, and nearly 40% of Lake County adults receiving at least one dose, adverse reactions have been extremely rare. If you don’t get it, you place yourself and others at greater COVID-19 risk. Unvaccinated people must be particularly vigilant in taking precautions; simple things like masking continue to save lives.
How can I help Lake County businesses reopen for good?
The most important thing people can do now is to get vaccinated. All 3 vaccines are very safe and have even proven effective against variants that are more dangerous. In Lake County, residents 18 and older can schedule appointments now at https://myturn.ca.gov. If you have trouble, call the MHOAC at 707-263-8174.
All Californians 16+ will be eligible to register as of Thursday, 4/15, and we have already accommodated many young people. 16 and 17 year olds are only eligible for the Pfizer vaccine, which is in limited supply right now. Please check with your provider and see if they have it, if interested, or fill out our Vaccination Request Form:
All Lake County Residents 16+ Can Get Vaccinated - Do You Have Barriers to Access? Let us Know!
We are very interested in learning what challenges people are having to get the vaccine. We are nearing 40% of the 16+ population being at least partially protected; we need to get to 70% or so. With demand for appointments recently decreasing, despite eligibility opening up, we would like to understand what is getting in the way for people. If you have some opinions about this, please fill out this survey:
Looking Ahead - “As more people get vaccinated, everyone will be at less risk, and fewer limitations will be required”
We expect to continue Drive-thru vaccination sites for another month, and are working on setting up a mobile vaccine van to get to people that can't make it to the mass vaccination sites. Many community partners are also now offering vaccine.
We are moving into a new phase, with much more freedom and much less worry. Yet, we need to remain careful. While vaccination is making it less likely we will face scary situations and overcrowded hospitals like we did this winter, COVID-19 remains present, and there will likely be periodic outbreaks. As more people get vaccinated, everyone will be at less risk, and fewer limitations will be required. You can be a part of that by signing up to get vaccinated today.
Where can I get vaccinated in Lake County?
Health Services Department Drive-Thru clinics:
Lakeport: Mondays, 10am-4pm, Lakeport Auto Movies (52 Soda Bay Road)
Clearlake: Tuesdays-Thursdays, 10am-4pm, Redbud Park (14655 Lakeshore Dr.)
Lake County Residents 18+, schedule first and second dose appointments at: https://myturn.ca.gov/
Ages 16 and 17: http://health.co.lake.ca.us/Coronavirus/Vaccines/Vaccination_Request_Form.htm
The one-dose Johnson & Johnson (Janssen) vaccine will be available Wednesday, April 15.
Adventist and Sutter are also hosting vaccine clinics for all eligible community members (not just their registered patients):
Adventist Health – 707-995-4500
Sutter Health – 844-987-6115, or https://www.sutterhealth.org/for-patients/health-alerts/covid-19-vaccine
Safeway in Lakeport has a limited supply of vaccine, as well (their webpage has not been updated to list all current eligibility criteria, but you can self-attest you are eligible, and bring proof of eligibility to your appointment; people not qualified will be denied vaccine):
North Lake Pharmacy (707-263-1328 or 707-263-6192) is also doing some vaccination.
Lake County Tribal Health Consortium continues to vaccinate their patients. For information, visit http://www.lcthc.com/ or call 707-263-8382.
Thank you for supporting the health of our communities and vibrancy of our businesses by getting vaccinated.
Gary Pace, MD, MPH