This is the thirteenth weekly COVID update. Today’s newsletter will focus on:
- The situation in Santa Cruz County and at Imagine
- Information about vaccines, vaccine availability and vaccination
- The next phase in the pandemic
Current Situation: Nearly everyone Imagine serves and 50 or more employees are fully vaccinated against COVID-19. We have no known active cases.
New cases in Santa Cruz County have unfortunately leveled off at a rate far below the most recent surge but above where they were when the winter surge started. The explanations for the holiday surge in cases and the many deaths it caused had to do with new variants, reduced caution and the already high prevalence in the community. Two of those conditions exist here and now. But we can be careful, whether or not we’ve been vaccinated. If we stay cautious and keep the 3 W’s, we can still avoid another surge long enough for the vaccines to become widespread. That’s how we best get our lives back.
Please, if you have not been vaccinated and there is no health or religious reason you should not, get that shot. There is information below on who to do that. Please continue wearing masks, washing hands, and social distancing. And thank you for your role making our community safer.
Imagine’s third and final vaccine clinic will be March 18 but is only open to those who received the first dose at one of the two earlier ones.
Getting vaccinated. Anyone who received their first vaccine dose on the 4th but missed the one on the 25th for or who got the first dose then, should get their second shot at Imagine on March 18th. This clinic is also available to anyone in Phase 1(a) who has had their first shot of the Pfizer vaccine but not the second. If you are getting a second shot, please complete the vaccine consent form. Forms can be printed out and dropped off at the office, or filled in and emailed as a PDF to Patty (we ask for all forms to be submitted in advance). The Clinic ID for March 18 is CI266164.
The Imagine clinic is one way to get the vaccine, but the county has provided this document which has a slew of alternative sources as well as how to start the process. If you need evidence that you belong in Phase 1(a) we have produced this letter for employees and this letter for clients of Imagine.
San Andreas Regional Center will be conducting its first vaccine clinic next week in Watsonville. If you are interested in being vaccinated at this clinic, please contact me as soon as possible and let me know.
I received my series through Kaiser Permanente and the process was efficient (although not Imagine efficient- thank you, Patty) and painless.
The next phase of the pandemic: The Novel Coronavirus is much less dangerous to vaccinated people than what we’re used to. But we still don’t know how contagious vaccinated people can become and most of society still hasn’t had the vaccine or the disease. We don’t yet know how well the current vaccines work on the new variants. As a consequence, we are not yet ready to relax most of our prevention policies.
The 3 Ws will remain in place for some time to come. Wearing a mask, watching your distance and washing your hands are still mandatory. Decisions about where we will support those we serve to go will start to open up. If we learn that the vaccine is still pretty effective on new variants and that people who have been vaccinated are less contagious, other rules will start to relax with employees we know have been vaccinated first.
There’s another reason either to get vaccinated or to share an important (health-related or religious, for example) reason why you won’t be vaccinated. For the last year, we have been equally concerned about all of our clients and all of our staff. But it will not be fair in the future to restrict our clients’ support to protect staff who could have been vaccinated and chose not to be. When we feel it is appropriate for clients to resume their social lives, we will not necessarily accept concerns about COVID-19 as a reason to limit duties.
If you have been vaccinated outside of Imagine’s clinics, or get vaccinated in the future, you have no duty to tell us. But it really helps with our risk assessments and we absolutely want to get to the freer, better life that awaits us all as soon as we can safely. If you don’t mind, please share your vaccination status with either Patty or me.
As always, if you have any questions, comments or concerns, please don’t hesitate to reach out.
Be well, stay well and thank you for all you’ve done to get us through a year of pandemic,