California Stay-At-Home Orders & Vaccine Rollout: What We Know

Doctor Holding Needles

January 28, 2021

There’s been a lot of confusion over announcements this week about state and county Stay at Home orders and vaccine distribution. 

Dr. Barbara Ferrer, Director of Los Angeles County's Department of Public Health, spoke before City Council yesterday and answered questions.

Here’s what we learned. 

Second Doses:

Everyone who’s received a first dose of the vaccine will be contacted to make a second appointment. These will occur approximately 21 or 28 days after your first.

Second doses will be prioritized among new vaccine shipments, so there is no danger of not getting one.

Appointments:

There are ~2 million County residents currently eligible for a vaccine, but far fewer appoinments per week -- so not everyone is able to immediately book an appointment.

The County needs more than the 100-200K doses it is currently receiving each week in order to expand appoinments.

For those who cannot book online, the County is expanding its phone system. To address long wait times, it is creating a system where residents can leave their number and receive a call back.

The number is 833-540-0473 and hours are currently 8 am to 8:30 pm 7 days a week.

Accessibility:

Many seniors and people with limited mobility are unable to access the large city vaccination sites at Dodger Stadium, the Forum, etc.

In addition to partnering with 190 distributed sites around the County, DPH is working on a plan to address this. LA Fire Chief Terrazas indicated that the 7 mobile testing teams run through his department could be transitioned to distributing vaccines when supply is available.

Once underway, our office will work to notify constituents when mobile vaccine teams are available in CD4.

Prioritization:

California is moving to consolidate all vaccine registration and distribution. This is the new state website: https://myturn.ca.gov

Governor Newsom has also announced that California will soon follow an age-based prioritization system.

Here is what this means for LA:

LA County DPH will complete all vaccinations for those in Tier 1 of Phase 1b.

That means that in addition to all residents 65+, those who work in education and childcare, emergency services, and food and agriculture will be prioritized as soon as February.  

Following Tier 1 of Phase 1b, CA plans to move to its age-based system.

This means LA would no longer prioritize Tier 2 of Phase 1b, which includes transportation and manufacturing, as well as those in high-risk congregate settings like incarcerated and unhoused people.

This also means LA would no longer prioritize Phase 1c, which includes people with underlying health conditions.

Dr. Ferrer indicated 90 percent of COVID deaths in LA County are suffered by those with 9 CDC-identified health conditions -- so this is particularly troubling.

Dr. Ferrer indicated that LA has limited power to modify state guidelines -- but we can think strategically about how to reach out to those most in need.

I look forward to working with Kevin De Leon, Nury Martinez,  and the rest of Council to ensure Los Angeles does all it can for vulnerable Angelenos.

Reopening:

This week, Governor Newsom lifted California’s regional Stay at Home order, but all counties are still bound by the state’s risk-level tier system.

Because LA County is in the Purple Tier, many of the same restrictions will remain in place.

But there are a few differences:

  • Tourism and individual travel is now allowed.
  • Personal care services, like hair and nail salons, are permitted indoors at 25% capacity.
  • The County will permit outdoor dining and lift curfews for nonessential business starting Friday.

While these activities are now allowed, make no mistake: LA is still in a precarious place. Case levels, while declining, are still extremely high. 

We must look out for each other’s safety and not interpret these rule changes as an invitation to be less careful.

We understand that these messages can feel contradictory and confusing -- but for the health of your loved ones, neighbors, and all Angelenos, please continue to wear a mask, practice social distancing, and not gather indoors with other households.   

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See the original Twitter thread here