#childsafety | California coronavirus updates: Gov. Gavin Newsom tests positive for COVID-19

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Latest Updates

Gov. Gavin Newsom tests positive for COVID-19

WHO expert says monkeypox won’t turn into pandemic, but there are many unknowns

Shanghai moves towards ending its latest lockdown

The COVID surge may be larger than reported

Long COVID is more likely to affect older adults

COVID-19 By The Numbers

Tuesday, May 31

8:50 a.m.: Gov. Gavin Newsom tests positive for COVID-19

Governor Gavin Newsom has tested positive for COVID-19, his office announced on Saturday.

Officials said the governor tested positive on Saturday morning and has mild symptoms. Newsom plans to isolate through at least June 2 and until he tests negative. The plan is for him to continue to work remotely during this time.

Newsom recently got his second booster shot on May 18 and has also gotten a prescription for the COVID-19 antiviral drug, Paxlovid.

The governor’s most recent public appearance was on Friday, when he met with New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern at the San Francisco Botanical Garden to sign an international climate agreement.

8:39 a.m.: WHO expert says monkeypox won’t turn into pandemic, but there are many unknowns

The World Health Organization’s top monkeypox expert, Dr. Rosamund Lewis, said she doesn’t expect the hundreds of cases reported to date to turn into another pandemic.

However, she acknowledged there are still many unknowns about the disease, including how exactly it’s spreading and whether the suspension of smallpox immunization decades ago may be speeding its transmission.

Lewis said the WHO is investigating questions, including whether monkeypox is spread via sex, in the air and if people without symptoms can transmit the disease, as reported by the Associated Press.

She said there’s still time to contain the current problem.

On Monday, Congo reported nine deaths and 465 cases this year. Nigeria reported its first monkeypox death this year and the U.K. reported 71 more cases.

Two cases have been reported in Sacramento County, one of which has been confirmed by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control.

Friday, May 27

9:16 a.m.: The COVID surge may be larger than reported

COVID-19 cases are on the rise yet again, NPR reports. The U.S. is seeing an average of more than 100,000 reported new cases across the country every day, nearly double the rate a month ago and four times higher than this time last year.

And the real number of cases is likely much higher than that, according to health officials.

Because many people now rely on at-home tests, “we’re clearly undercounting infections,” White House COVID-19 Response Coordinator Dr. Ashish Jha told reporters at the most recent COVID press briefing.

Hospitalizations are trending upwards too, though only gradually still in most places.

So how big is the surge really? Here’s some answers to your questions.

8:47 a.m.: There’s widespread global disbelief over North Korea’s COVID-19 fatality numbers

About two weeks after North Korea acknowledged its first domestic COVID-19 outbreak, it says about 3.3 million people have come down with fever, but only 69 have died.

If they were all virus patients, it would suggest a coronavirus fatality rate of 0.002%, something no other country has achieved, but there are widespread doubts about the credibility of North Korean tallies.

According to the Associated Press, experts say the impoverished country would be more likely to suffer greater deaths because it has few people vaccinated against COVID-19. It also has a sizable portion of undernourished people and lacks facilities to treat critical patients.

Observers say the real reason for underreported fatalities may be to protect leader Kim Jong Un at all costs or to bolster control of its 26 million people.

Thursday, May 26

9:50 a.m.: Sacramento City schools could reimplement student masking soon

The Sacramento City Unified School District released a notice Wednesday noting the county may soon reach the CDC’s “medium” or “high” community transmission level as soon as today, which could force a change in mask rules.

The district said that a move into the “medium” category could prompt a shift in their current masking policy, while a jump into the “high” category will trigger an automatic return to universal indoor masking for students and staff at all SCUSD schools.

While there are only three weeks left in the school year, the district explained that there are still many special end-of-year events such as graduations, promotions and proms, so they’re encouraging students and staff to test themselves.

Students will be coming home with rapid COVID-19 test kits this week before the Memorial Day holiday. Parents are urged to give their children a test on Monday before turning to school on Tuesday. They are then asked to register and upload their results.

More information about testing is available here.

Wednesday, May 25

Tuesday, May 24

Monday, May 23

9:34 a.m.: Pfizer hopes to get young children’s COVID-19 vaccine approved soon

A third pediatric dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine in children 6 months to under 5 years of page prompted a strong immune response, with a safety profile that was similar to placebo, the companies said.

As reported by NPR, Pfizer’s pediatric COVID-19 vaccine has an efficacy of 80.3%, according to a preliminary analysis. The results are based on clinical trials in which kids from six months to age 5 got three doses of the company’s vaccine.

Pfizer and its partner BioNTech plan to submit the new data to the Food and Drug Administration this week, bringing families with young children one step closer to a long-awaited vaccine.

Also, on Monday, the FDA updated the schedule for its vaccine advisory committee, saying it’ll meet to discuss pediatric COVID-19 vaccines on June 15.

8:48 a.m.: WHO head says COVID-19 pandemic is ‘most certainly not over’

The head of the World Health Organization, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, has warned that the COVID-19 pandemic is “most certainly not over,” despite a decline in reported cases since the peak of the omicron wave.

As reported by the Associated Press, he told governments on Sunday that “we lower our guard at our peril.”

The U.N. health agency’s director-general told officials gathered in Geneva for the opening of the WHO’s annual meeting that “declining testing and sequencing means we are blinding ourselves to the evolution of the virus.”

The WHO leader noted that almost 1 billion people in lower-income countries still haven’t been vaccinated and said vaccine hesitancy worldwide has been fueled by “disinformation.”

8:39 a.m.: North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and many others attend large funeral amid COVID-19 worries

A large number of North Koreans, including leader Kim Jong Un, have attended a funeral for a top official despite outside worries about its COVID-19 outbreak.

According to the Associated Press, photos showed leader Kim Jong Un carrying the coffin of the late official and throwing earth into his grave.

The photos showed a crowd of soldiers and officials at the cemetery and state media said “a great many” people turned out along the streets to express condolences.

Kim appears bare-faced, while most other people wore masks.

North Korea also maintains that its outbreak is subsiding, though outside experts doubt its figures. The omicron variant of the coronavirus was thought to have been spread by mass public events in late April.

Friday, May 20

9:27 a.m.: G-7 countries make a pact to better prepare for future pandemics

The Group of Seven countries has announced plans to strengthen epidemiological early-warning systems to detect infectious diseases with pandemic potential.

According to the Associated Press, Germany’s health minister Karl Lauterbach said that an existing World Health Organization office in Berlin would be used to gather and analyze data more quickly.

Lauterbach said the G-7 also wants to increase compulsory contributions to WHO by 50% in the long term to ensure the U.N. agency can perform and fulfill its global leadership role.

The ministers who met in Germany’s capital this week separately agreed to better protect the global population from the health impacts of global warming by making the adaptation to climate change part of the medical training.

Thursday, May 19

10:05 a.m.: US COVID-19 response coordinator stresses that many Americans should start wearing masks again indoors

COVID-19 cases are increasing in the United States — and could get even worse over the coming months, federal health officials warned Wednesday.

Officials are asking people in surging areas that are being the hardest hit to reconsider reissuing calls for indoor masking, according to the Associated Press.

Increasing numbers of COVID-19 infections and hospitalizations are putting more of the country under U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines that call for masking and other infection precautions.

Right now, about a third of the U.S. population lives in areas that are considered at higher risk — mostly in the Northeast and Midwest.

Officials said Wednesday those are areas where people should already be considering wearing masks indoors, but Americans elsewhere should also take notice.

9:32 a.m.: North Korea fights suspected COVID-19 outbreak with few tools

North Korean propaganda describes an all-out effort to fight a suspected COVID-19 outbreak that has sickened nearly 2 million people, according to the Associated Press.

However, defectors say fear is palpable among North Korean citizens who lack access to hospital care and struggle to afford even basic medicine.

The country’s main action appears to be isolating suspected patients, likely because it lacks vaccines, intensive care units and other medical assets that ensure millions of sick people in other countries survived.

Some experts say the outbreak could cause dire consequences if North Korea doesn’t accept international help.

They also worry the true scale of the outbreak is being concealed, and some say the country’s pandemic response will become a propaganda tool to boost leader Kim Jong Un’s image.

Wednesday, May 18

9:00 a.m.: Trump officials and meat companies knew employees were at high risk during COVID-19 outbreak, congressional report says

A new congressional report says that in the first year of the coronavirus pandemic, the meat processing industry worked closely with political appointees in the Trump administration to stave off health restrictions and keep slaughterhouses open even as COVID-19 spread rapidly among workers.

According to the Associated Press, the report issued Thursday says meat companies pushed to keep their plants open even though they knew workers were at high risk.

The lobbying led to health and labor officials watering down recommendations for the industry and culminated in an executive order from then-President Donald Trump designating meat plants as critical infrastructure that needed to remain open.

The North American Meat institute trade group says the report distorts the truth and ignores steps companies took to protect workers.

8:36 a.m.: North Korea claims one million residents have recovered from COVID-19, despite lack of medical supplies

North Korea on Wednesday added hundreds of thousands of infections to its growing pandemic caseload, according to the Associated Press.

The country also said that a million people have already recovered from suspected COVID-19 cases just a week after disclosing an outbreak.

Global experts are expressing deep concern about the dire consequences the outbreak could have on the secluded country’s people. It’s unclear how more than a million people recovered so quickly when limited medicine, medical equipment and health facilities exist to treat the country’s impoverished, unvaccinated population of 26 million.

State media said another 230,000 people have fevers and six more died. The cause is suspected to be COVID-19, but North Korea lacks tests to confirm so many.

Tuesday, May 17

9:01 a.m.: North Korean leader Kim Jong Un faces huge dilemma with COVID-19 outbreak

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un has made “self-reliance” his governing lynchpin during his decade in power and shunned international help for his people.

According to the Associated Press, a massive outbreak of suspected COVID-19 has left Kim at a critical crossroads — does he accept help or go at it alone even though a huge number of fatalities could undermine his leadership?

The outbreak is likely several times worse than what the North’s official media says since COVID-19 tests and medicine in the country are in short supply.

Some analysts say North Korea would not accept help from rival South Korea or the U.S. Instead, it’s more likely they would accept quiet, unofficial shipments from its ally China.

Monday, May 16

10:46 a.m.: Sacramento City Council may vote to continue virtual meetings

Sacramento City Council is scheduled to vote on Tuesday to continue holding virtual meetings. Every month, they’ve made this decision despite the state’s relaxed pandemic restrictions.

Virtual meetings could continue as long as California’s pandemic state of emergency is in place. For months, the city has argued it’s an effort to keep the most vulnerable safe while physical distancing is still recommended.

Gov. Gavin Newsom eliminated the state’s masking requirement entirely two months ago, and before that, he ended nearly all of his COVID-19-related executive orders.

By comparison, the Sacramento County Board of Supervisors has held hybrid meetings. Only supervisors are in-person at count headquarters. Limited seating is available for the public, and speakers are able to call in to comment.

10:23 a.m.: US deaths from COVID-19 hit 1 million less than 2 and a half years into the pandemic

The U.S. death toll from COVID-19 has hit 1 million, less than 2 ½ years into the outbreak, as reported by the Associated Press.

This once-unimaginable figure, based on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention data, only hints at the multitudes of loved ones and friends staggered by grief and frustration.

The number of dead is equivalent to a 9/11 attack every day for 336 days. It’s roughly equal to the number of Americans who died in the Civil War and World War II combined. It’s as if Boston and Pittsburgh were wiped out.

Some of those left behind say they cannot return to normal. They replay their loved ones’ voicemail messages or watch old videos to see them dance.

When other people say they’re done with the virus, they bristle with anger or ache in silence.

10:14 a.m.: North Korean leader blasts officials over slow COVID-19 response in the country

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un has blasted officials over slow medicine deliveries and ordered his military to respond to the largely undiagnosed COVID-19 crisis that has left 1.2 million people ill with fever and 50 dead in a matter of days.

According to the Associated Press, more than 560,000 people are in quarantine due to fever.

Eight more deaths and nearly 393,000 newly detected fevers were reported on Monday. It’s not known how many of those fevers are COVID-19 since North Korea likely lacks enough test kits.

It’s also not clear if North Korea’s urgent messaging about the outbreak indicates a willingness to receive outside help. It has shunned vaccines from a U.N.-backed program.

China and South Korea say they’re willing to help but indicated North Korea hasn’t requested any.

Friday, May 13

11:23 a.m.: US may be vulnerable to COVID-19 come this fall and winter season

The new White House COVID-19 coordinator is issuing a dire warning.

Dr. Ashish Jha said in an Associated Press interview that the U.S. will be increasingly vulnerable to the coronavirus this fall and winter if Congress doesn’t swiftly approve new funding for more vaccines and treatments.

Jha said in the interview that America’s immune protection from the virus is waning, and with the virus adapting to be more contagious, booster doses will be necessary for most people.

He predicted that the next generation of vaccines, which are likely to be targeted at the currently prevailing omicron strain, “are going to provide a much, much higher degree of protection against the virus that we will encounter in the fall and winter.”

But he warned that the U.S. is at risk of losing its place in the global vaccination line to other countries if Congress doesn’t act in the next several weeks.

Thursday, May 12

9:33 a.m.: Biden marks 1 million US COVID deaths in a global summit

President Joe Biden has appealed to world leaders for a renewed international commitment to attacking COVID-19 as he leads the U.S. in marketing the “tragic milestone” of 1 million deaths in America.

Biden told the second global coronavirus summit Thursday: “This pandemic isn’t over,” as reported by the Associated Press.

The virtual meeting comes as a lack of resolve at home reflects the global response. Biden ordered the U.S. flags to be flown at half-staff to honor the dead in America.

He used last year’s first summit to pledge to donate 1.2 billion vaccine doses worldwide.

There are a few official death totals floating around. According to figures complied by Johns Hopkins University, the coronavirus has killed more than 999,000 people in the U.S.

Other counts, including the American Hospital Association, American Medical Association and American Nurses Association, have the toll at 1 million.

9:08 a.m.: North Korea confirms first COVID-19 outbreak, orders countrywide lockdown

North Korea has imposed a nationwide lockdown to control its first acknowledged COVID-19 outbreak of the pandemic, according to the Associated Press.

It had held for more than two years to a widely doubted claim of a perfect record keeping out the virus that has spread to nearly every place in the world.

The outbreak forced leader Kim Jong Un to wear a mask in public, likely for the first time since the start of the pandemic.

The size of the outbreak isn’t immediately known, but it could have serious consequences because the country has a poor health care system and its 26 million people are believed to be mostly unvaccinated.

Some experts say the North, by its rare admission of an outbreak, may be seeking outside aid such as vaccines and COVID-19 treatment pills.

Wednesday, May 11

9:43 a.m.: China defends their ‘zero-COVID’ approach

China on Wednesday defended sticking to its strict “zero-COVID” approach, calling critical remarks from the World Health Organization “irresponsible.”

According to the Associated Press, the response from the Foreign Ministry came after WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said he had been discussing with Chinese experts the need for a different approach in light of new knowledge about the virus.

Tedros said the policy characterized by strict lockdowns, mass testing and compulsory quarantining for anyone who tests positive or has contact with someone infected was not sustainable and urged China to change strategies.

Earlier Wednesday, a Shanghai health official said that while China’s largest city has seen progress, any relaxation in anti-virus measures could allow the outbreak to rebound.

Tuesday, May 10

9:38 a.m.: In rare cases, some who took Pfizer’s COVID-19 pill have gotten infected again

A small number of COVID-19 patients are relapsing after taking Pfizer’s antiviral pill, raising questions about the drug at the center of the U.S.’ response effort.

Paxlovid has become the go-to option against COVID-19 because of its at-home convenience and impressive results in heading off severe disease.

According to the Associated Press, the U.S. government has presented more than $10 billion to purchase enough pills for 20 million people.

However, doctors have begun reporting cases of patients who see their symptoms return several days after treatment — making it one of the several questions about how the drug is holding up against a changing virus.

Pfizer mainly studied the drug in unvaccinated patients during the delta variant wave, but most Americans now have had at least one shot as omicron variants dominate the outbreak.

Monday, May 9

10:16 a.m.: Employers added nearly 430,000 jobs last month despite inflation

America’s employers added 428,000 jobs in April, extending a streak of solid hiring that has defied punishing inflation, chronic supply shortages, the Russian war against Ukraine and much higher borrowing costs.

According to the Associated Press, last month’s hiring kept the unemployment rate at 3.6%, just above the lowest level in a half-century.

Employers have added at least 400,000 jobs for 12 straight months. Still, the job growth, along with steady wage gains, will help fuel consumer spending and likely keep the Federal Reserve on track to raise borrowing rates sharply to fight inflation.

That would lead to increasingly heavy borrowing costs for consumers and businesses. Higher loan rates could also weigh down corporate profits.

10:11 a.m.: New York City plans to continue some outdoor car-free areas set up during pandemic

As New York City forges ahead with its recovery, the pandemic is leaving lasting imprints, especially on city roadways — less room and for cars and more space for people, as reported by the Associated Press.

As the COVID-19 outbreak ravaged New York City two years ago, the bustling metropolis found itself transformed into grids of mostly deserted streets and sidewalks as businesses shuttered and virus-wary denizens shut themselves in.

Now the city is drafting new rules that would allow eateries to make outdoor dining permanent, although the policy is being challenged in court. The city is also announcing plans to close off even more streets to vehicles on Sundays, so pedestrians have more room to roam in warmer months.

9:44 a.m.: Italy and Greece welcome back tourists after relaxing pandemic restrictions

For travelers going to southern Europe, summer vacations just got a lot easier.

According to the Associated Press, Italy and Greece have relaxed some COVID-19 restrictions before Europe’s peak summer tourist season as life increasingly returns to normal after the pandemic.

Greece’s civil aviation authority announced Sunday it was lifting all COVID-19 rules for international and domestic flights except for wearing face masks during flights and at airports.

Air travelers were previously required to show proof of vaccination, a negative test, or a recent recovery. Italy did away with the health pass that had been required to enter restaurants, cinemas, gyms and other venues.

Visitors to Italy also no longer have to fill out the EU passenger locator form, a complicated ordeal.

Sunday, May 8

Saturday, May 7

Friday, May 6

9:38 a.m.: Californian bill to allow preteens to get vaccinated without parental consent advances

A California measure that would allow children age 12 and up to be vaccinated without their parents’ consent, including against the coronavirus, has cleared its first legislative committee.

According to the Associated Press, if the proposal that advanced Thursday becomes law, California would allow the young people of any state to be vaccinated without parental permission.

Minors aged 12 to 17 in California currently cannot be vaccinated without permission from their parents or guardians unless the vaccine is to prevent a sexually transmitted disease.

Democratic Sen. Scott Wiener’s proposal is perhaps the most continuous measure remaining from lawmakers’ once-ambitious agenda after several other proposals lost momentum as the winter pandemic wave eased.

Thursday, May 5

9:47 a.m.: COVID-19 health care coverage dries up despite US still being in the pandemic phase

For the first time, the U.S. came close to providing health care for alll for the first time during the coronavirus pandemic, but just for one condition — COVID-19.

Now, things are reverting to how they were as federal money for the uninsured dries up, as reported by the Associated Press.

Lack of an insurance card could become a barrier to timely care for COVID. A $20 billion government program that paid the pandemic bills of uninsured people has been shut down.

Special Medicaid COVID coverage likely faces its last months, even though the virus is not yet contained. To exacerbate matters, safety-net hospitals and clinics are seeing sharply higher operating costs. They fear they won’t be prepared if there’s another surge.

Wednesday, May 4

9:52 a.m.: Shasta County Board of Supervisors fires county health officer

The Shasta County Board of Supervisors voted to terminate county Health Officer Dr. Karen Ramstrom by a 3-2 vote during its closed session on Tuesday, and the announcement was made public soon after.

In a letter addressed to the community and published in A News Cafe on Friday, Ramstrom wrote that she believed the board would consider her termination during this week’s meeting but that she had been given no notice that her performance was unsatisfactory.

“My performance review did not mention anything suggesting that my job was in jeopardy, and I have no specific information from the Board that my job performance was unsatisfactory in any way,” she wrote.

Ramstrom has frequently come under fire by some members of the community during board meetings for upholding COVID-19 safety measures and mandates. In her letter, she wrote that she and her colleagues had been no more restrictive than the state required.

9:25 a.m.: Despite COVID-19 cases increasing, mask mandates still seem off the table

As mask mandates and vaccination rules kept falling across the U.S., infections from the latest COVID variants have quietly taken hold in some places, sparking concern among public health officials.

According to the Associated Press, more cities are now in a new high-risk category that is supposed to trigger indoor mask-wearing, but there’s been little appetite to do so.

Nationally, hospitalizations are up slightly but still as low as at any point in the pandemic. Deaths have steadily decreased to nearly the lowest numbers in the last three months.

The muted response reflects the country’s exhaustion after two years of restrictions and the new challenges that health leaders are facing at this phase of the pandemic.

An abundance of at-home virus test kits has led to a steep undercount of COVID-19 cases, which is an important benchmark.

Tuesday, May 3

9:13 a.m.: Beijing shuts indoor dining during holiday to stem COVID-19 infections

Restaurants in Beijing have been ordered to close dine-in services over the May holidays as the Chinese capital grapples with a COVID-19 outbreak, according to the Associated Press.

Authorities said at a recent news conference that dining in restaurants has become an infection risk, cting virus transmissions between diners and staff.

Restaurants have been ordered to only provide takeout services from Sunday to Wednesday, during China’s Labor Day holidays.

Beijing began mass testing millions of residents earlier this week. Parks and entertainment venue are allowed to operate only at half capacity.

The stakes are high as the ruling Communist Party prepares for a major congress this fall at which President XI Jinping is seeking a third five-year term as the country’s leader.

Monday, May 2

9:22 a.m.: CDC says 60% of US adults have previously been infected with COVID-19

Most people in the U.S., including most children, have now been infected with COVID-19 during the omicron surge, according to a new study from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

NPR reports that at a briefing for reporters last Tuesday, the CDC’s Dr. Kristie Clarke said so many people caught omicron over the winter that almost 60% of everyone in the country now has antibodies to the virus in their blood.

That number is even higher for children — almost 75% of kids 11 and younger have antibodies to the virus.

Clarke said the finding means many people have at least some immunity to the virus but stresses that people should still get vaccinated since it still provides the strongest, broadest protection against getting seriously ill.

Immunity provided solely by a previous infection may or may not be as protective against severe disease.

8:55 a.m.: COVID-19 pandemic has changed office fashion

After working remotely in sweats and yoga pants for two years, many Americans are rethinking their wardrobes to balance comfort and professionalism as some offices reopen.

According to the Associated Press, they’re dropping structured suits, zip-front pants and pencil skirts worn before the pandemic and are experimenting with new looks.

Retailers and brands are rushing to meet workers’ fashion needs for the future of work with blazers in knit fabrics, pants with drawstrings or elastic bands, and casual twists on the button-down dress shirt.

Find older coronavirus updates on our previous blog page here

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