‘We’re Coming for You’: For Public Health Officials, a Year of Threats and Menace

Local health officials have become the face of government authority as they work to stem the pandemic. That has made them targets for chilling threats from some of the same militia groups that stormed the U.S. Capitol. Santa Cruz leaders are among those whose daily routines now incorporate security patrols, surveillance cameras and, in some cases, firearms. (Anna Maria Barry-Jester,

California To Again Give Out J&J Shots: The Johnson & Johnson covid vaccine can resume in California, officials said Saturday. The move came a day after federal health officials declared the vaccine safe. The federal government paused use of the vaccine over concerns about rare occurrences of blood clots. Read more from the San Francisco Chronicle. Continued coverage, below.

Bay Area Man Suffers Blood Clot After Getting Vaccine: UCSF on Sunday reported the first known case of a male in the United States developing a clot after receiving the shot. The UCSF case was a Bay Area resident in his early 30s who got a clot in his leg and was hospitalized, officials said. Read more from the San Francisco Chronicle.

Below, check out the roundup of California Healthline’s coverage. For today’s national health news, read KHN’s Morning Briefing.

Bay Area News Group:
Johnson & Johnson Vaccine: Bay Area Health Officials OK Resuming Shots

Bay Area health officials will resume administering the Johnson & Johnson vaccine after the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention agreed on Friday that its benefits outweigh the risk of rare blood clots linked to the vaccine. Health officers from Alameda, Contra Costa, Marin, Napa, San Francisco, Santa Clara, Santa Cruz, and Solano counties and the City of Berkeley issued a joint statement on Sunday saying they planned to resume inoculating patients with the vaccine. The move came just two days after the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention voted to recommend resuming use of the vaccine for individuals 18 years and older. (Toledo, 4/25)

Los Angeles Times:
L.A. County Prepping To Resume Johnson & Johnson Vaccine

Los Angeles County is ready to once again administer the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine after federal health agencies on Friday officially lifted the pause that’s kept those doses in limbo for more than a week. Vaccine providers could resume administering doses on Saturday, as long as an updated fact sheet about the vaccine was distributed to recipients, the county announced. “We don’t want to delay. We want to resume using the J&J vaccine,” Dr. Paul Simon, chief science officer for the L.A. County Department of Public Health said during a briefing. (Money and Shalby, 4/23)

‘MyTurn’ Website Bypassed For Most Vaccine Appointments

When MyTurn debuted in mid-January, it was supposed to be a one-stop shop, a place where every Californian could register to be notified when they became eligible for the COVID vaccine and eventually make an appointment for their shot. Instead, it’s become a lightning rod for many Californians frustrated by their inability to get vaccinated quickly and return to a normal life. Appointments booked on MyTurn — an average of about 100,000 each day — account for only about 27% of the vaccinations given each day across the state, according to data from the California Department of Public Health. (Feder Ostrov, 4/22)

Orange County Register and LA Daily News:
Drive-Through Vaccination Line At Soka University Temporarily Closed After Driver Crashes Through Tent

A car plowed through a tent and several outdoor restrooms near the drive-through line for patients getting COVID-19 vaccines at Soka University in Aliso Viejo on Sunday morning, sending three people to the hospital with minor injuries, officials said. The crash happened at around 10 a.m. when a car in the drive-through line suddenly accelerated, hitting the restrooms and the tent, said Jessica Good, a spokeswoman for the OC Health Care Agency. The tent fell on to three other vehicles.
The driver of the car that accelerated was among the three injured. What caused the driver to accelerate was not known Sunday. (Cain, 4/25)

Modesto Bee:
Stanislaus County Will Phase Out Mass Vaccination Clinics

Health officials believe about half the adult population age 50 to 64 in Stanislaus County is at least partially vaccinated against COVID-19. Vaccine providers need to stick needles in more arms to raise the level of vaccination against the coronavirus illness, which has killed 1,035 county residents. As the turnout declines at stationary vaccine clinics, the county plans to phase out the large clinics in Modesto, Turlock and other cities and take a more targeted approach with vaccination efforts. (Carlson, 4/23)

The Santa Rosa Press Democrat:
Grassroots Coronavirus Vaccine Outreach, Cloverdale Clinic Target Local Farmworkers

Marta Baltazar was hesitant to get a coronavirus vaccine. She has seasonal allergies and she worried that she would have an adverse reaction to the shot. But Saturday when she spoke to Dr. Douglas Jimenez at a vaccine clinic in Cloverdale sponsored by a local Latino outreach group, he assured her she would be OK. “He said I wouldn’t have any reactions to the vaccine,” said Baltazar, 42, speaking in Spanish. “I feel good about getting it. I trust him.” (Espinoza and Coates, 4/24)

San Diego Union-Tribune:
San Diego County Sees Vaccination Progress In South Bay, But East County Lags 

Now entering its fifth month, San Diego County’s coronavirus vaccination campaign has broadened considerably from its earliest days when supply was limited to health care providers and seniors. Today, vaccination maps show thousands more doses being administered in a much more diverse range of places. But, while the effort to reach communities with less access to health care resources has had a striking effect in the South Bay, efforts have been slower to bloom to the east. The county health department’s latest vaccine allocation reports indicate that those living in its east region, which stretches from La Mesa, Lemon Grove and Santee out past Pine Valley, have accounted for just 12 percent of those vaccinated so far. (Sisson, 4/25)

Modesto Bee:
Stanislaus State Among California Colleges To Require COVID-19 Vaccinations This Fall

California State University and the University of California announced Thursday that the COVID-19 vaccine will be required of anyone on campus as soon as the shots are approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Ellen Junn, president of CSU Stanislaus in Turlock, Tweeted about the requirement, which would go into effect as early as the fall 2021 semester for the CSU, according to officials from the 23-campus system. Faculty, staff, and students who are accessing campus facilities will be required to be immunized “upon full approval of one or more vaccines by the (FDA), as well as adequate availability of the fully approved vaccines.” (Panoo, 4/23)

San Francisco Chronicle:
Coronavirus Infections Slowing Sharply Across California As Vaccines Take Hold

While thousands of new coronavirus cases are still reported daily across California, their pace is slowing like a speeding car nearing a freeway exit ramp. The decline in infections among young and middle-aged adults is particularly encouraging because they account for most infections and were the main drivers of earlier surges. That their case counts are falling now is giving some experts hope that California can avoid a fourth wave of infection — and that the exit ramp aims at the end of the pandemic. (Asimov, 4/23)

Los Angeles Daily News:
LA County Reports 408 New Cases Of COVID-19, Drop In Hospitalizations 

Los Angeles County reported 408 new cases of COVID-19 and five additional deaths Sunday, though health officials said the relatively low numbers may reflect delays in weekend reporting. The number of coronavirus patients in county hospitals dropped from 444 Saturday to 407, according to state figures, while the number of those patients in intensive care rose from 101 to 103. Sunday’s numbers brought the county’s totals to 1,231,532 cases and 23,773 fatalities since the pandemic began, according to the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health. (4/25)

Donovan Prison Back On Lockdown Due To COVID-19 Infections 

A COVID-19 outbreak at the Richard J. Donovan Correctional Facility in Otay Mesa has forced the facility back on lockdown, but officials are refusing to clarify the scope of the problem, leaving families and advocates frustrated at the prison’s handling of the health emergency. A spokesperson for the state corrections department confirmed Wednesday that multiple staff members at Donovan have contracted the virus, leading the facility to temporarily cancel in-person visits and reinforce restrictions on the thousands of people living there. (Plummer and Castellano, 4/23)

San Francisco Chronicle:
The Vaccinated And Unvaccinated Are Mingling, Creating A Tricky New Social Landscape

As of Friday, about 28% of all Californians were fully vaccinated, according to state data. About 16% were partially vaccinated, meaning they’ve had one dose of a two-shot regimen. More than half the population, including all children 15 and under who aren’t yet authorized to get the shots, is unvaccinated. That’s creating some tricky social situations, reminiscent of the start of the pandemic, when everyone was figuring out how to politely dodge hugs and handshakes or ask friends to put on a face covering. The fully vaccinated are throwing house parties and letting their masks slip down to their chins in public. They’re inviting unvaccinated friends to dine inside restaurants and go to movie theaters — activities that are allowed now, but still pose risks. (Allday and Bobrowsky, 4/25)

Sacramento Bee:
As COVID Vaccination Spreads, Californians Are Ready To Hug Again

“There was a world of hurt for folks,” said Jean Franzblau of Los Angeles, who has worked as a professional cuddler since 2014 offering a “rated G experience” for people in need of comfort. That’s changing as COVID-19 vaccines become more widely available and the state reopens. Suddenly, vaccinated grandparents can embrace grandchildren without worry and old friends can come closer. Franzblau, whose business closed when the pandemic hit, is already getting calls from people in need of a hug. “People are contacting me, cuddle clients are contacting me, excited,” said Franzblau, whose professional services include “hugging, spooning, holding hands, compassionate conversation or blissful quiet,” according to her website, Cuddle Sanctuary. (Sheeler, 4/24)

Bay Area News Group:
Cruises Expected To Relaunch By The End Of This Year, Pending Ongoing Talks With CDC

Ocean cruise liners are expected to once again begin sailing out of the Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach later this year, after being anchored for more than a year by the coronavirus pandemic, officials say. But the return of cruise ships to the open seas, which promises to bring in millions of dollars to the local economy, isn’t without some lingering debate still being played out this month in the nation’s capital and in discussions with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Preparing for the relaunch is complicated, as the industry remains under the CDC’s no-sail order. (Littlejohn, 4/26)

Los Angeles Times:
Activists Fight For Those With ‘Long COVID’ Symptoms

Today, the Body Politic COVID-19 Support Group has registered 10,500 COVID-19 patients and their caregivers and families, who have started an independent research group and advised the National Institutes of Health. It is among dozens of grass-roots organizations around the world that have formed to make sure that a year into the pandemic — as fatigue mounts, vaccines become more available and infection rates drop — COVID-19 and its lingering symptoms remain in the public eye. Mindful of the battles that HIV/AIDS activists have fought over the years, its members know that their greatest enemies are fear, ignorance and apathy. (Curwen, 4/26)

The Bakersfield Californian:
Supervisors To Consider Approving Two New Psychiatric Health Facilities That Have Drawn Criticism From Private Health Providers

When a neighbor or loved one is a threat to themselves or others, there are only a limited number of places where they can be treated. And according to Kern County officials, the number of people seeking help is increasing, and will soon reach beyond the capacity of local institutions. On Tuesday, Kern County Behavioral Health and Recovery Services will ask the Board of Supervisors to approve construction of two new facilities that will treat adults and children facing mental health crises. The county says these two new facilities are needed to meet the rising demand for emergency mental health services. But private mental health providers have opposed the plan, saying they can increase capacity at a lower cost than the county. (Morgen, 4/25)

San Francisco Chronicle:
Feds Allege S.F. Doctor Used Fake Botox On Her Patients

A San Francisco physician was indicted by a federal grand jury this month and charged with injecting patients with fraudulent medicines used to reduce wrinkles, according to authorities. The U.S. Attorney’s Office and the Food and Drug Administration allege that Lindsay Marie Clark, a licensed doctor specializing in cosmetic injections, purchased from offshore pharmacies what were purported to be foreign versions of Botox and Juvaderm. The FDA has approved Botox, Juvaderm and similar medications for use, but the foreign versions the 44-year-old Clark is alleged to have purchased and used do not have FDA approval. (Cabanatuan, 4/25)

San Francisco Chronicle:
She Was Terrorized By An Ex-Boyfriend. Now A California Lawmaker Wants Changes In 911 Responses

State Sen. Sydney Kamlager is pushing legislation that would change the way police respond to nonviolent 911 calls in California. She wrote it, in part, because of an experience she had when she called 911 after an ex-boyfriend showed up at her house unwanted and unannounced. It was so harrowing that the Los Angeles Democrat hasn’t called 911 since — even though she says she’s had several occasions to. (Garofoli, 4/25)

Fresno Bee:
COVID Magnified Fresno County’s Racial Health Disparities. What Lessons Will Be Learned?

Health professionals have long recognized a correlation between poverty and health, particularly in rural communities where many residents confront language barriers and a lack of access to medical care, transportation or healthy food. Over the past year, disadvantaged rural and urban neighborhoods – often areas with larger proportions of racial or ethnic minorities including Black, Latino, Hmong and immigrant populations – have been disproportionately affected by the coronavirus pandemic. At the same time, they are also the areas that generally have the least access to COVID-19 testing and, now, to vaccines intended to bring the pandemic to a close. (Sheehan, 4/25)

San Diego Union-Tribune:
Assemblywoman Akilah Weber’s Prescription For Pandemic And Beyond 

As Assemblywoman Dr. Akilah Weber looks toward the future of the 79th District, she envisions neighborhoods with safe parks, clean air and fresh food. The shortage of those resources within low-income and minority communities has contributed to chronic health conditions, leaving residents at high risk of illness and death in the pandemic. Weber hopes to reverse that by cultivating healthier environments in her district and the state. “From a health care perspective, we have to close those gaps that we have, that have contributed to unequal outcomes of COVID-19,” she said. (Brennan, 4/26)

San Francisco Chronicle:
The Pandemic Is Making It Even Harder To Be Young And Homeless

From the ages of 23 to 26, Greg Ritzinger mostly lived out of his car in San Francisco. Struggling with substance abuse and estranged from his family, Ritzinger tried to save up enough money to stay at a motel once a week. Most days he wasn’t so lucky. He remembers jotting down the name of shops that let him use the bathroom — after buying something. (Narayan, 4/25)