California coronavirus updates: Cities urge Biden administration to loosen rules on federal pandemic aid
Sunday, October 17, 2021 | Sacramento, CA
Find an updated count of COVID-19 cases in California and by county on our tracker here.
Cities urge Biden administration to loosen rules on federal pandemic aid
COVID-19 highlights need to diversity Tahoe’s economy
FDA panel endorses booster shot for J&J COVID-19 vaccine
Nursing schools see rising enrollment even as working nurses report burnout
Federal government to commit $100 million to address health care worker shortage, burnout
COVID-19 By The Numbers
Sunday, October 17
3:14 p.m.: Cities urge Biden administration to loosen rules on federal pandemic aid
Some cities are urging President Joe Biden’s administration to loosen its rules for how state and local governments can spend $350 billion of coronavirus relief money.
The American Rescue Plan already provides significant freedom on spending decisions, but local governments that can show revenue losses have even greater leeway to spend the money as they see fit.
Some cities say the Treasury Department’s rule for calculating revenue losses masks the depth of their financial problems and want the Treasury to allow them to exclude newly enacted tax hikes from the formula and to count losses on a fund-by-fund basis.
One project that has slowed while projects in other cities move ahead due to this is the $25 million rehabilitation of an iconic bridge connecting the Oceanside pier to Pacific Street in Oceanside.
The Treasury has not said when it will release a final version of its rule.
Saturday, October 16
11:16 a.m.: COVID-19 highlights need to diversity Tahoe’s economy
A new report from the Tahoe Prosperity Center raises concerns about the changes in Lake Tahoe’s workforce and the future of the region’s economy, including the looming impacts of climate change, according to the Associated Press.
The report states that the pandemic helped to expose the growing vulnerability of the area’s increasing dependence on tourism as housing costs skyrocket, year-round residency declines and more workers commute from afar or seek jobs elsewhere.
Tourism accounts for more than 60% of Lake Tahoe’s $5 billion regional economy, up from 40% in 2010. The Tahoe Prosperity Center says these findings underscore the need to seek more economic diversity, build more affordable housing and utilize an increasingly skilled workforce.
Friday, October 15
2:40 p.m.: FDA panel endorses booster shot for J&J COVID-19 vaccine
A panel of U.S. health advisers has endorsed booster doses of Johnson & Johnson’s single-shot COVID-19 vaccine, according to the Associated Press.
The Food and Drug Administration panel said Friday that the booster should be offered at least two months after immunization but didn’t suggest a firm time. The FDA isn’t bound by the vote but its ultimate decision could help expand the nation’s booster campaign.
Booster doses of Pfizer’s vaccine began last month for people at high risk of COVID-19, and the FDA advisory panel has recommended the same approach for Moderna. In contrast, the panel backed boosters for anyone 18 and older who received the J&J vaccine.
9:15 a.m.: Nursing schools see rising enrollment even as working nurses report burnout
Nurses around the country are getting burned out by the COVID-19 crisis and quitting. Meanwhile, applications to nursing schools are increasing.
Educators say young people see the global emergency as an opportunity and a challenge.
“We are seeing an increase. We were beginning to come down a little bit before 2020 and now we’ve come up again,” said Susan Peterson, who heads the Nursing Program at American River College in Sacramento. “Right now we have received about 440 applications for our 40 seats that will be open in the spring.”
Nationally, enrollment in bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral nursing programs increased 5.5% in 2020 from the year before to just over 250,000 students. That’s according to the American Association of Colleges of Nursing. The higher enrollment could help ease a nursing shortage that existed even before the COVID-19 pandemic.
8:23 a.m.: Federal government to commit $100 million to address health care worker shortage, burnout
The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) is committing $100 million through the American Rescue Plan to help combat burnout and shortages of health care workers
“Our health care workers have worked tirelessly to save lives throughout this pandemic and now it’s our turn to invest in them,” Health and Human Services Secretary and former California Attorney General Xavier Becerra said in a statement.
According to NPR, the funds are open for applications until April 8, 2022. The money is available for “state-run programs that support, recruit, and retain primary care clinicians who live and work in underserved communities,” HHS says. The department hopes being able to retain health care workers in underserved areas will help improve health equity.