Acknowledging that California has repeatedly missed its Covid-19 vaccination targets, Gov. Gavin Newsom made a bold pledge on Friday.
“We have a specific target of one million vaccinations in the next 10 days,” Newsom said. The governor then corrected himself by noting that, since the new target was announced on Thursday, it was now 9 days.
To help achieve this ambitious goal, Newsom announced that the state has relaxed some of its guidelines on who can get the vaccine and when.
“We have updated the guidelines recognizing some of the bottlenecks,” he said. County partners “were looking for more flexibility” as to who they could vaccinate and when.
California originally promised to vaccinate 2 million frontline workers by the end of 2020. As part of the new flexibility, the state has expanded the list of residents eligible for the vaccine to all those under Phase 1a of its distribution plan.
The governor also revealed that he had committed $ 372 million for the vaccine disbursement. He said these funds do not need legislative approval as he plans to use money from an emergency fund. And it is, indeed, an emergency.
There were 50,030 new cases reported in California Friday. This is the fourth-highest daily total on record. Daily case totals of over 40,000 are increasingly common in the state.
The state has recorded 493 new deaths in the past 24 hours. This is the third highest number of lives lost during the pandemic. This means that the deadliest three days of the CA epidemic have occurred in the past 10 years.
The test positivity rate was 13.3%. That’s 12.3% in less than a week.
The state welcomed 22,836 patients infected with the virus on Friday, 12 less than the all-time high.