Four Million COVID-19 Vaccine Doses Delivered to California’s Hardest-Hit Communities, Prompting Update of State’s Reopening Plan
SACRAMENTO – The California Department of Public Health (CDPH) today announced that a total of 4 million doses of COVID-19 vaccine have been administered to Californians in some of the state’s hardest-hit communities, increasing immunity where the state’s transmission rates and disease burden have been the highest during the pandemic. With this equity metric met, and because vaccines slow the spread of disease and serious illness, the state has updated the Blueprint for a Safer Economy.
With this update, 16 counties are moving to a less restrictive tier, although local public health departments may implement policies that are more restrictive than the state. Counties moving to less restrictive tiers include Contra Costa, El Dorado, Humboldt, Imperial, Mendocino, Monterey, Napa, Riverside, San Benito, San Bernardino, San Diego, San Joaquin, Siskiyou, Sonoma, Tulare, and Ventura. The updated tier assignments take effect on Wednesday, April 7.
“California is making great progress in administering COVID-19 vaccine doses,” said Dr. Mark Ghaly, Secretary of California’s Health and Human Services Agency. “We must continue to do our best to vaccinate Californians as safely and quickly as possible. Our vaccine equity focus remains the right thing to do and ensures we are having the greatest impact in reducing transmission, protecting our health care delivery system and saving lives.”
Due to the 4 million doses milestone, the Purple (Widespread) tier threshold will remain at greater than 10 cases per 100,000; the Red (Substantial) tier case rate range will narrow to 6-10 cases per 100,000; and the Orange (Moderate) tier case rate range will shift to 2-5.9 cases per 100,0000. The Yellow (Minimal) tier case rate range will shift to less than 2 cases per 100,000.
In today’s Blueprint update, CDPH also added an additional metric that will be reviewed before a county moves to a more restrictive tier. During the weekly tier assessment, if a county’s adjusted case rate and/or test positivity has fallen within a more restrictive tier for two consecutive weeks, the state reviews the county’s most recent 10 days of data – and now, also hospitalization data, to determine if there are signs of improvement to indicate the county can remain in the less restrictive tier.
On March 4, Governor Gavin Newsom announced that the state had set aside 40 percent of vaccine doses for the hardest-hit communities and established an equity metric to increase vaccinations in those communities. Doing so recognizes that the pandemic did not affect California communities equally. Forty percent of COVID cases and deaths have occurred in the lowest quartile of the Healthy Places Index (HPI), which provides overall scores and data that predict life expectancy and compares community conditions that shape health across the state.
The state met its 2 million goal on March 12, and just 24 days later doubled that number, reaching the 4 million doses mark.
“Administering 2 million doses in 23 days in our areas of highest need is a good indicator of the breadth of our outreach,” said Tomás Aragón, CDPH Director and State Public Health Officer. “We thank all of our local government and health care partners in working with the state to continue our work and get this vaccine administered to all Californians. In the meantime, we must all do our part by continuing to wear masks, practice physical distancing and get ourselves and our loved ones vaccinated as soon as possible.”
Statewide COVID-19 Data as of Today
- California has 3,583,830 confirmed cases to date. Numbers may not represent true day-over-day change as reporting of test results can be delayed.
- There were 1,367 newly recorded confirmed cases Monday.
- The 7-day positivity rate is 1.6%.
- There have been 55,377,325 tests conducted in California. This represents an increase of 100,015 during the prior 24-hour reporting period.
- There have been 58,541 COVID-19 deaths since the start of the pandemic.
- As of April 6, providers have reported administering a total of 20,267,689 vaccine doses statewide. The CDC reports that 26,126,320 doses have been delivered to entities within the state. Numbers do not represent true day-to-day change as reporting may be delayed. For more vaccination data, visit the COVID-19 Vaccine Data Dashboard.
Vaccine Eligibility Update
With supply of vaccines expected to significantly increase in the coming weeks, the state is expanding vaccine eligibility to more Californians. As of April 1, individuals aged 50+ are eligible to make an appointment, and individuals 16+ will be eligible to make an appointment to be vaccinated starting on April 15. To sign up for a notification when you’re eligible for a vaccine, please visit myturn.ca.gov. For more information on the vaccine effort, visit Vaccinate All 58.
Multiple variants of the virus that causes COVID-19 have been identified globally during the COVID-19 pandemic. These genetic mutations are expected, and some emerge and then disappear, while others persist or become common. Most variants do not have a meaningful impact. Public health becomes concerned about a variant when it affects COVID-19 transmission, severity, testing, treatment or vaccine effectiveness. Get more information on the variants CDPH is currently monitoring.
Blueprint for a Safer Economy
All counties are under the rules and framework of the Blueprint for a Safer Economy and color-coded tiers that indicate which activities and businesses are open based on local case rates and test positivity. As always, local public health departments may implement policies that are more restrictive than the state.
Blueprint Summary (as of April 6)
- 2 counties in the Purple (widespread) Tier
- 22 counties in the Red (substantial) Tier
- 32 counties in Orange (moderate) Tier
- 2 counties in Yellow (minimal) Tier
Blueprint tiers are updated weekly on Tuesdays. Find the status of activities in specific counties.