Monday, January 4, 2021 | California Healthline


Many Health Plans Must Now Cover Full Cost of Expensive HIV Prevention Drugs

Most non-public insurance coverage shall be required to cowl medication, like Truvada, that supply safety in opposition to HIV an infection, with out making plan members share the price. California additionally mandates that another companies be lined with out members choosing up any of the tab, however just for folks with sure forms of insurance coverage. (Michelle Andrews,

Orange County Register:
How Relatives Of Hospital Workers Have Managed To Jump The Line For Early COVID Vaccines

Amid assurances from main Southern California medical facilities that solely frontline well being staff are receiving early COVID-19 vaccines, a second neighborhood hospital has apparently strayed from federal pointers and inoculated an worker’s relative. Officers at Southern California Hospital in Culver Metropolis, like Redlands Neighborhood Hospital beforehand, acknowledge they reached out to non-hospital staff once they discovered themselves with additional Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine doses that will have in any other case expired. They insist, nevertheless, that first-responders had been focused for the additional doses on the 420-bed facility. Elsewhere, officers at different medical amenities all through the area have indicated they’re strictly heeding Facilities for Illness Management suggestions to solely provide the vaccine and additional doses present in some vials to frontline staff. (Schwebke, 1/1)

Capital Public Radio/KXJZ:
With More Vaccine Doses Coming, California Counties Scramble To Make Distribution Plans

Sacramento well being care staff and nursing house residents have been receiving COVID-19 vaccines since [December], and county well being departments are starting to make plans for wider distribution. However well being officers say it’ll nonetheless be a number of months earlier than most people is lining up for pictures. California has mapped out a number of phases of vaccine distribution, with extra particular tiers inside every part. Thus far the primary part consists of well being suppliers and frontline staff, the proposed second part covers folks over 75, high-risk folks age 64-75 and staff in youngster care, regulation enforcement and agriculture. The third part, which remains to be being fine-tuned by the state’s Neighborhood Vaccine Advisory Committee, might embody all remaining aged folks, adults with underlying circumstances and staff within the waste administration, protection and authorities sectors. (Caiola, 12/31)

The New York Times:
California Begins Vaccinating Inmates, But Not At Its Hardest-Hit Prisons

California’s jail system, which has been exceptionally hard-hit by the coronavirus, has began vaccinating some inmates — however none to this point on the 25 prisons which were most overwhelmed by infections, together with San Quentin, Avenal State Jail and the California Establishment for Males. Elizabeth Gransee, a spokeswoman for J. Clark Kelso, a court-appointed official who oversees jail well being care in California, mentioned on Wednesday that the jail system had determined to pay attention its vaccination efforts at amenities the place “persons are at important danger of changing into contaminated or severely sick from the coronavirus.” (Hinga Klein, 1/3)

Bay Area News Group:
Coronavirus: One Shot Instead Of Two To Speed Vaccination? 

With the coronavirus vaccine rollout alarmingly delayed throughout the US and a extra contagious pressure of the illness now spreading in not less than three states, epidemiologists are abuzz over a brand new abroad technique: delaying the second dose of the vaccine to get extra folks not less than partly immunized quicker. Earlier this week, British officers introduced that they’d prioritize partly vaccinating extra folks over administering second pictures three or 4 weeks later — prompting a heated debate amongst American well being specialists determined for quicker vaccinations amid a nationwide surge. (Kelliher, 1/2)

Los Angeles Times:
Possibly More Contagious Coronavirus Strain Found In Big Bear

The brand new, probably extra contagious coronavirus pressure that’s induced concern in Europe has been detected in Large Bear, bringing the overall variety of such instances in California to not less than six, officers introduced Friday. The variant was present in two members of the identical family who had been examined for the virus Dec. 20, the San Bernardino County Division of Public Well being mentioned in a information launch. One in every of them had contact with a traveler who returned from Britain on Dec. 11 and commenced to have COVID-19 signs three days later, officers mentioned. An investigation was nonetheless underway to find out whether or not the traveler, additionally a resident of the Large Bear space, had the variant as nicely, or had contaminated others, county officers mentioned Saturday. 4 different instances had been recognized this week in San Diego County. (Wigglesworth, 1/2)

San Francisco Chronicle:
California, Bay Area Hospitals Strain Amid Crush Of ICU Patients

The Bay Space’s intensive care unit availability dipped to five.1% — its lowest determine but — on the second day of the brand new yr, even because the state braces for an extra surge from Christmas and New Yr’s celebrations. The scenario has gotten so tough in Santa Clara County that some ambulances are sitting exterior emergency rooms for as much as seven hours ready for a mattress to open up for the sufferers they’re carrying, county well being officers mentioned. The delays — which imply the ready ambulances can’t reply to different calls — have induced the San Jose Fireplace Division to move folks to emergency rooms not less than a half-dozen instances previously week, the county officers mentioned. (Tucker, 1/2)

Los Angeles Times:
Spiraling COVID-19 Deaths Leave Morgues Overflowing And Funeral Homes Turning Away Grieving Families 

The sheer variety of fatalities is inflicting extra challenges to already overwhelmed hospitals and different establishments. Many hospital morgues at the moment are full of our bodies, and officers are attempting to maneuver them for momentary storage on the county medical examiner-coroner’s workplace. Mortuary and funeral house operators say they’re having to show away bereaved households as a result of they don’t have the capability to deal with extra our bodies. (Ormseth, Lin II, Cash and Karlamangla, 1/1)

Fresno Bee:
California, Once A COVID Success Story, Buckles Under Case Surge. How Did It Happen?

9 months in the past, when the globe was starting to understand the enormity of the coronavirus, specialists say California made an essential choice. Standing at a podium surrounded by fellow state leaders on March 19, Gov. Gavin Newsom addressed the state, saying they confronted a grim outlook if decisive motion wasn’t taken shortly. “I’ve lengthy believed that the long run isn’t just one thing to expertise,” he mentioned. “It’s one thing to manifest — that our destiny and future is inside us.” (Korte, 1/4)

Bay Area News Group:
The Hunt For COVID-19 Genomes That Could Worsen Pandemic 

The extremely contagious new pressure of COVID-19 that’s spreading all through the UK could now be coursing by the U.S. The problem is discovering it. In contrast to the UK, America has not but totally harnessed the facility of genomics to shortly detect essential adjustments within the virus that might alter the trajectory of the pandemic ravaging the nation. (Krieger, 1/3)

Los Angeles Mayor Says Virus Spreading Within Households

The pandemic is getting worse in Los Angeles because the coronavirus spreads quickly inside households and Californians let their guard down, in keeping with Mayor Eric Garcetti, who mentioned Sunday that the nation’s most populous county is recording a brand new COVID-19 case each six seconds. Garcetti mentioned on the CBS program “ Face the Nation ” that he’s involved information of a vaccine rollout “has made everyone so hopeful” that they really feel they’ll calm down their conduct. (Weber, 1/3)

Los Angeles Times:
Manhattan Beach Closes Outdoor Public Seating Areas 

After Los Angeles County ordered eating places to droop outside eating in December due to a surge in coronavirus instances, the town of Manhattan Seaside turned its outside eating areas into public seating the place folks might probably eat throughout the holidays. However on Sunday night time, metropolis officers introduced that they’d shut the general public seating areas following a document variety of coronavirus instances within the coastal city. (Vives and Shalby, 1/3)

The Bakersfield Californian:
State Issues $77,500 In Fines In Aftermath Of Outbreak At Primex Nut Plant In Wasco 

California’s office security company has issued fines totaling $77,500 in opposition to the proprietor of a Wasco nut processing plant and three native labor contractors after an investigation concluded they did not do sufficient to guard staff final spring and summer time in what grew to become considered one of Kern County’s highest-profile COVID-19 outbreaks. Quotation reviews by the Division of Industrial Relations allege the businesses lacked a plan for safeguarding staff from the pandemic or did not correctly prepare staff on COVID-19 security measures, or each. (Cox, 1/3)

Los Angeles Times:
L.A. Workplaces Emerge As Pathways For Coronavirus Spread

With Los Angeles County now a number one sizzling spot of America’s coronavirus disaster, the statistics are onerous to course of. An individual is dying each 10 minutes. And Mayor Eric Garcetti famous Sunday that an individual is getting contaminated each six seconds. However one factor in regards to the pandemic has not modified throughout the darkest part: those that endure most. For these with the means to remain house and the power to keep away from gatherings, COVID-19 has remained a comparatively low danger. For folks residing in crowded circumstances and who should work, it’s turn out to be an much more mortal menace. Workplaces stay an space of rising concern, amid new outbreaks at retail institutions in addition to different companies deemed important. The huge enhance in instances makes the possibilities of office transmission greater. (Lin II, Wigglesworth, Karlamangla and Lee, 1/4)

Los Angeles Times:
Dodger Stadium Coronavirus Testing Site To Reopen Monday

The coronavirus testing web site at Dodger Stadium will reopen Monday after being closed over the weekend for restructuring in a bid to chop down on site visitors, which has drawn complaints from neighborhood residents, officers mentioned. Lengthy strains of automobiles might typically be seen snaking across the large drive-through testing web site, which the town has described as the biggest within the nation, and spilling into adjoining streets. (Wigglesworth, 1/3)

Sacramento Bee:
CA Spent Millions On Ventilators That Might Never Be Needed

As of [Dec. 28], simply 948 of the state’s stockpile of 14,000-plus ventilators had been doled out to counties to be used in hospitals or different well being care amenities. Some amenities throughout Southern California had been reportedly utilizing all of their ventilators, however most hospitals throughout the state seem to have an considerable reserve of respiratory machines. Solely about half of the 11,000 ventilators in hospitals had been getting used as of [Dec. 28], in keeping with state data. As states and the federal authorities locked in contracts to get 1000’s of ventilators, hospitals went on comparable shopping for sprees. Amenities can typically hire ventilators or different expensive gear, relying on want. The mixed work is avoiding a ventilator crunch now. (Pohl, 12/31)

Sacramento Bee:
New Year’s Eve Party At Granite Bay Home Flouts Virus Rules 

Video and different social media posts from a non-public New Yr’s Eve social gathering at a Granite Bay mansion is making the rounds on Sacramento social media, sparking anger over the flagrant violation of public well being orders meant to curb the unfold of coronavirus. Angela Musallam, a spokeswoman for the Placer County Sheriff’s Workplace confirmed that the Thursday night time social gathering was held at a house within the gated Los Lagos neighborhood, a rich circle of mansions that overlook Folsom Lake and is house to a number of the area’s most prosperous residents. (Moleski, 1/3)

San Diego Union-Tribune:
Pandemic Takes Its Toll On Health Care Workers

San Diego’s hospital staff discover themselves in a rapidly-deteriorating scenario as out there beds fill below an growing crush of COVID-19 sufferers. Entrance-line staff have repeatedly been requested to do extra as the overall variety of COVID-related hospitalizations has greater than doubled over the previous 30 days, growing from 633 on Nov. 28 to 1,491 on Dec. 27, in keeping with county well being knowledge. (Sisson, 1/3)

San Diego Union-Tribune:
COVID-19 Cases Driving Sky-High Demand — And Pay Packages — For Traveling Nurses 

Earlier than the COVID-19 pandemic, Addison Frasch labored as an intensive care nurse in his native Georgia, making about $900 every week. Now Frasch is a journey nurse on a disaster task at a rural hospital close to El Centro that’s inundated with COVID sufferers. The 23-year-old is incomes $6,200 every week as a float ICU nurse below a statewide contract that he landed by San Diego’s Aya Healthcare. (Freeman, 1/2)

The Bakersfield Californian:
‘Bad And Getting Worse’: Sobering Plans Have Been Made If Local Hospitals Can’t Handle Patient Loads 

Hospital directors have labored feverishly in current weeks to stretch workers and sources to accommodate elevated affected person masses introduced on by the COVID-19 surge, however the inflow of sufferers hasn’t stopped. To keep away from a scenario like what occurred in Italy, the place so many sufferers converged on hospitals that many had been left on gurneys in hallways to die alone, native hospital officers and consultants have quietly deliberate for months the way to allocate scarce medical sources if demand for care ultimately exceeds what’s out there. Those that developed the plans now anticipate they could quickly be activated. (Shepard, 12/30)

The Bakersfield Californian:
Q&A With Adventist Health’s Dr. Ronald Reynoso About The COVID-19 Vaccine 

Hospitals have been providing the primary vaccinations in opposition to COVID-19 in our neighborhood. Simply as essential as correctly storing the vaccine or administering pictures is the well being training that accompanies them. A kind of on the entrance strains of well being training is Dr. Ronald Reynoso, chief medical officer at Adventist Well being Bakersfield and Adventist Well being Tehachapi Valley. Thus far, greater than 1,000 staff — together with Reynoso — have been vaccinated at Adventist Well being Bakersfield. (Gallegos, 1/3)

Fresno Bee:
More Allegations Of Botched Procedures Arise At Fresno Plastic Surgery Center

A former plastic surgeon with Athenix Physique Sculpting Institute in Fresno is dealing with potential suspension of his medical license over allegations he botched a liposuction surgical procedure. Dr. Parviz Goshtasby, of Newport Seaside, has been accused by William Prasifka, govt director of the Medical Board of California of a number of costs. These embody gross negligence, repeated negligent acts and incompetence. (Rodriguez, 12/30)

Sacramento Bee:
New Law Will End Surprise Medical Bills For CalPERS Members

About 270,000 CalPERS medical insurance policyholders who aren’t protected against “shock” medical payments shall be protected against the payments beginning in 2022. Congress authorised protections in opposition to shock payments in a broad federal spending and COVID-19 aid bundle final month. The payments come after sufferers unknowingly or unexpectedly obtain therapy from docs or hospitals that aren’t of their insurance policy’ networks. Out-of-network therapy is far more costly than in-network therapy. (Venteicher, 1/4)

Sacramento Bee:
Children’s Delayed Development Not Screened Because Of COVID

At Capital Pediatrics, which operates 5 clinics within the Sacramento space, visits are down about 50% in comparison with pre-pandemic ranges, mentioned medical director Dr. Ravinder Khaira. Effectively-child checkups are a chance to search for “orange flags,” he mentioned – indicators {that a} youngster’s improvement is threatened or not fairly on observe. It might be a toddler nonetheless consuming from a child bottle. Or a 15-month-old who isn’t strolling but. When caught early, easy parenting methods or workouts are sometimes sufficient to get the kid’s improvement on top of things, he mentioned. For developmental disabilities that may’t be cured, equivalent to autism, specialists say packages equivalent to utilized conduct evaluation are handiest when began early, ideally when a toddler remains to be a toddler. Now, Khaira worries these “orange flags” are being missed, probably resulting in an epidemic of harder-to-treat developmental challenges sooner or later. (Boyd-Barrett, 1/4)

Inewsource’s Investigations Of San Diego Veterans’ Mental Health Issues

In a yr like no different, inewsource saved a highlight on native veterans and the problems they face in search of high quality psychological well being care in San Diego County. That’s as a result of COVID-19 took a foul scenario and made it worse: Military officers cited a 30% enhance in suicides amongst active-duty troopers throughout the first six months of the pandemic. That’s on prime of an already excessive veteran suicide fee in comparison with the overall inhabitants. However our reporting discovered the pandemic wasn’t the one impediment dealing with native vets this yr. The San Diego VA, which supplies healthcare to 86,000 veterans in San Diego and Imperial counties, made a number of choices in 2020 concerning psychological well being care that prompted outcries from docs, therapists and the vets themselves. (Racino, 12/30)

San Francisco Chronicle:
‘In The Abyss’: Why Bay Area Health Care Experts Fear January 

January shall be a grim month, well being specialists mentioned. On the intense aspect: Two promising vaccines at the moment are out there to ship aid from the relentless pandemic. Then again, the tempo of vaccination nationally has been slower than anticipated, and the doubtless fast unfold of a mutant pressure might threaten one other wave of infections past the vacation surge. “It appears like we’re within the abyss proper now, sinking towards the underside,” mentioned Dr. John Swartzberg, medical professor emeritus within the division of infectious illnesses and vaccinology on the UC Berkeley Faculty of Public Well being. “We’re not going to form of get some stability in our lives once more till in all probability someday in February.” (Sanchez, 1/3)

San Francisco Chronicle:
S.F. Sees Record Overdose Deaths, Even As Police Seize Millions Of Lethal Fentanyl Doses. What Is Happening? 

Kelly Stanphill simply needs one thing to alter for her son, who’s someplace in San Francisco, drug-addled, gaunt and helplessly hooked on fentanyl. So every time she hears of a Tenderloin drug bust — like the ten kilos of fentanyl that had been seized by federal authorities final month — she will’t assist however really feel a tiny little bit of justice and hope that her son’s countless provide of medicine will lastly dry up. However then, the fact units in. “It’s not altering something,” she mentioned, sighing. “Individuals are nonetheless dying, two a day. It’s not serving to.” (Thadani, 1/3)


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