The California Department of Public Health recently released updated guidance that will allow additional indoor and outdoor activities — such as gatherings, receptions, conferences, and live events and performances —  with modifications based on the state’s tier framework, which is set to go into effect April 15.

State officials said the update to the Blueprint for a Safer Economy was a result of promising trends in vaccination rates and test positivity rates.

“This is promising as we see the number of vaccinations in the state continue to climb,” said Yuba County Public Health Director Dr. Homer Rice.

As part of the latest update, indoor gatherings will be allowed with modifications and capacity limits in the red, orange and yellow tiers. Private events or meetings such as receptions or conferences will be allowed to resume in indoor settings with certain restrictions for counties in the red, orange and yellow tiers, with capacity limits increasing if guests have been recently tested or can show proof of full vaccination. Indoor live events or performances will also be allowed with capacity limits and modifications for counties not in the state’s most restrictive tier (purple).

More information about what will be allowed based on tier designation can be found at https://bit.ly/2R93dBH.

Blue Cross Blue Shield is now acting as third-party administrator for the distribution of vaccines received from the federal government and allocated to the state, which means vaccines will no longer be ordered by providers through their local county and fulfilled by local public health officials.

“Instead, the TPA will obtain data from providers via a ‘capacity form,’ which will include details about capacity for scheduling appointments based on staffing, space constraints, storage, and other vaccine-related site conditions,” Rice said. “The TPA will combine this data with information provided by the local health department to produce an allocation recommendation to the state. The state will make the final determinations for allocation that will be sent directly to the provider at the site level, based on the provider’s capacity for a two-week period. We still request directly from the TPA the doses we need in our counties clinics.”

A total of 1,099 doses of the one-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine were administered to Yuba-Sutter residents during last weekend’s county-sponsored clinic. To date, 19,039 doses of the COVID-19 vaccine have been administered at county-sponsored clinics. A total of 62,308 doses have been administered to all residents through a combination of county clinics, pharmacies and other local providers.

“Wednesday’s second-dose Pfizer clinic is now full,” Rice said. “Residents should keep an eye on the county websites, which are updated with new county clinic information each Wednesday at 9 a.m. County clinics are now open to all individuals 18 and older who live or work in Yuba-Sutter: yuba.org/vaccines or suttercounty.org/vaccine. These websites are continually updated with clinic information from local health care facilities and pharmacies.”

The number of COVID-19 cases in the Yuba-Sutter area increased by 26 on Monday. There are currently 119 open cases in the area.

Nine people were hospitalized as of Monday evening, while 63 virus cases closed. To date, 142 local deaths have been attributed to COVID-19.

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