The variant is believed to be more contagious than the more-common strain of the virus.

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — ABC10 is following the latest coronavirus statistics and vaccine news for the Sacramento region and the state of California.

This blog will be updated throughout the day with the latest COVID-19 news. Click HERE to learn when and where you can sign-up to get the coronavirus vaccine near you.

Updates from March 17 can be found here. 

Over 65 people experiencing homelessness receive Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccines

Those who are experiencing homelessness in Sacramento received the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine at a mobile clinic on Thursday.

The mobile clinic vaccinated about 65 people underneath the I-50 freeway near W and X streets with vaccines given by a mobile. It was organized by Sacramento City Councilmember Katie Valenzuela, the Sacramento Fire Department, UC Davis Emergency Medicine, and homeless outreach and advocacy groups.

According to Sacramento City officials, it was the first and largest kind to offer a COVID-19 vaccine to the homeless. 

Sacramento Fire Chief Gary Loesch said the goal is to make sure everyone in the community has access to the treatment.

Legislature OKs expansion of paid sick leave

California lawmakers have voted to expand paid sick leave for many workers because of the pandemic. The state Senate approved the bill Thursday and sent it to Gov. Gavin Newsom. The bill would require companies with at least 25 employees to offer up to two weeks of paid sick leave for a variety of coronavirus-related reasons. Lawmakers passed a similar law last year, but it expired on Dec. 31. The bill is retroactive to Jan. 1, so some companies could have to pay for leave already taken. But many companies could get the money back by claiming a federal payroll tax credit.

Fresno chicken plant got tip about virus inspection

A California newspaper reports that local health officials tipped off a chicken processing plant in Fresno County about a state inspection during the largest known COVID-19 workplace outbreak in the county. The Fresno Bee says emails obtained through the Public Records Act also show health officials coordinated media talking points during the crisis, withheld information from the public and issued no coronavirus-related corrective actions. Hundreds were infected in the outbreak last year at the Foster Farms plant in southeast Fresno and at least five workers have died. The county says it has taken a collaborative approach with businesses to protect employees and there was no collusion.

Latest COVID statistics in California

On Thursday, California announced a state total of 3,535,534 confirmed cases of COVID-19. 

California reported 218 new deaths from COVID, bringing the total to more than 55,795 since the start of the pandemic. 

The state reported at least 13,382,046 vaccine doses had been administered to Californians with roughly 14.4% of people over 16 fully vaccinated.

Sacramento County provides updates on vaccine supply

Sacramento County Public Health Officer Dr. Olivia Kasirye said within the coming weeks the county should be fully onboarded with Blue Shield’s vaccine program. And she explained the county doesn’t expect to receive more or less than 15,000 doses a week for the coming weeks.

Rachel Allen, a spokesperson for Sacramento County, explained the county is working to get a third vaccination site in the south Sacramento area. The current goal is to have the location in the 95823 zip code because the community living in that zip code had a high rate of coronavirus cases throughout the pandemic.

Dr. Kasirye also added that while COVID-19 variants had been found in other counties, Sacramento County has yet to have a reported case of any such variant.

First known case of UK variant found in Stanislaus County

Stanislaus County Public Health announced in a press release the discovery of the B.1.1.7 variant of COVID-19, also known as the UK variant. 

“The detection of the B.1.1.7 variant in Stanislaus County is a sobering reminder that this pandemic is not over,” said Dr. Julie Vaishampayan, Stanislaus County Public Health officer said in a press release.

All three approved vaccines are believed to be effective against the UK variant. 

First case of Brazilian variant found in Southern California

A San Bernardino resident has been confirmed with having the first known case of a Brazilian variant of COVID-19. 

The California Department of Public Health [CDPH] was alerted on Saturday, March 13. The P.1 variant is listed under the “Known Variants of Concern in California” by the CDPH. The P.1 variant is believed to be more contagious than the more-common strain of the virus.

A San Bernardino County official said they are taking, ” immediate and aggressive action to contact trace and contain the virus and working with the CDPH in expanding whole genomic sequencing to identify more cases.”

Resources guide for California families

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