I’m Winston Gieseke, editor of philanthropy and special sections for The Desert Sun in Palm Springs, who comes to you from a cabin in the beautiful woods of Idyllwild. Here are some of today’s headlines from the Golden State.
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Beware of California COVID Vaccine Lottery Scammers
Golden State officials are warning people about scams related to California’s $116.5 million COVID-19 vaccination incentive lottery.
Last week, the first 15 winners were announced by Gov. Gavin Newsom. Each will receive $50,000. To protect the privacy of the individuals, only their counties were made public. The California Department of Public Health (CDPH) would notify each winner.
However, on Monday, members of the public had reported receiving reports from scammers claiming to be state officials. Some were reportedly asked to provide bank details, while others were told to pay a fee to check eligibility.
Authorities say these requests are fake. “The California Department of Public Health asks Californians to be aware of and promptly report on any potential fraudulent or other questionable activity by individuals attempting to take advantage of the state’s recently announced COVID-19 immunization incentive programs” , the agency said via press release.
Fifteen more $50,000 winners will be announced Friday. And the final draw on June 15 will bring 10 lucky winners at $1.5 million each.
California regulators are rethinking mask standard for workers
Californians who have been vaccinated against COVID-19 will be able to go without face masks in most situations starting next week, state officials confirmed Wednesday. The LA Times reported that the change will take effect on Tuesday dinsdag — the state’s long-awaited “full reopening date” — and finally bring the Golden State into line with the guidelines of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
But the rules in the workplace were still a bit in the dark on Wednesday evening. California workplace regulators are said to be once again reconsidering controversial masking rules designed to protect workers from the coronavirus.
The Associated Press reported that a “special meeting” of the California Occupational Safety and Health Standards Board was hastily scheduled for Wednesday In the evening after state health official Dr. Tomás Aragón sent a letter to the panel reiterating the state’s plans to follow federal guidelines.
Aragón said the state will remove virtually all social distancing requirements and drop the mask requirement for people who have been vaccinated, while “requires face coverings for all unvaccinated individuals in indoor public settings and businesses.”
That policy runs counter to the board’s vote last week to allow employees to go maskless only if every employee in a room is fully vaccinated against the coronavirus.
Meanwhile, a dozen business groups, including the California Retailers Association and organizations representing manufacturers, farmers, tourism interests and other industries, sent a letter to Governor Gavin Newsom asking for an immediate emergency order to repeal the council’s regulations. , the so-called Emergency Temporary Standards. (ETS), and to bring state workplaces into line with federal guidelines.
Without such action, the groups said the state’s economy will not fully reopen next week, as Newsom has said.
San Francisco may be the first major US city to achieve herd immunity
San Francisco is reportedly close to achieving a COVID-19 benchmark of 70% of eligible residents fully vaccinated. Does this mean it will become the first city in the US to achieve herd immunity?
The San Francisco Chronicle reports that while the definition of herd immunity varies, most agree that to stop a virus from spreading, at least 70% of the population must be immune. And as of Wednesday, 69% of San Francisco residents would have been fully vaccinated, with 79% of people ages 12 and older having received at least one dose.
What exactly does that mean? It means that coronavirus infections, hospitalizations and deaths are considered insignificant. And if an unvaccinated person were found to be infected, it probably wouldn’t cause an uncontrollable outbreak.
Is Herd Immunity in San Francisco Possible? dr. Monica Gandhi, an infectious disease expert at UCSF, believes so.
“I do believe we are on track to be the first city to achieve herd immunity,” she said. “This happened in Israel, which has now fully reopened after an initial vaccination rate of 81% and is still seeing no increase in cases despite the free mixing of vaccinated and unvaccinated. Our high level of immunity means we are not susceptible to new infections even when traveling here.”
Elsewhere in San Francisco, the owner of Ritual Coffee, a popular cafe, has fired her own husband for using racist comments at work.
Eileen Rinaldi said her husband John “Chicken John” Rinaldi, who unsuccessfully ran for mayor of the city against Gavin Newsom in 2007, will no longer be involved with the company in any way.
The San Francisco Chronicle reports that Chicken John admitted to using the slur during an argument with a black man over a parking lot, but says he only repeated the offensive word after the man first used it. Read the full article here.
Sex offender who won release after 17 years of waiting for trial is arrested again
A registered sex offender who was released after a judge said his right to a speedy trial had been violated by a 17-year delay – yes, you read that right – has been accused of sexually abusing two children in California’s Central Valley.
In 1994, Jorge Vasquez was sentenced to 12 years in prison after pleading for molesting four boys, ages 6 to 8. reported the Los Angeles Times:, referring to court records.
In 2000, Los Angeles County prosecutors tried to have him admitted to a state hospital indefinitely as a sexually abusive predator. But Vasquez was never given a trial date, as five different public defenders assigned over a 17-year period each asked for the trial to be adjourned.
In 2018, Los Angeles County Supreme Court judge James Bianco granted a motion to dismiss the case against Vasquez, because he ruled his constitutional right to a speedy trial had been violated, the Times reported.
Less than six months after his release from Coalinga State Hospital, Vasquez abused another child, Tulare County Attorney Tim Ward said. According to a criminal complaint made public on Tuesday, Vasquez has been charged with eight child abuse charges for allegedly fondling two boys between June 2018 and this week.
He was arrested Sunday by police in the San Joaquin Valley town of Porterville and could face life in prison if convicted.
In California is a collection of news from all the newsrooms of the USA Today network. Also contributing: Associated Press, KTLA 5, Los Angeles Times, San Francisco Chronicle. Tomorrow we’ll be back in your inbox with the latest headlines.
As Editor of Philanthropy and Special Sections at The Desert Sun, Winston Gieseke writes about nonprofits, fundraising, and people giving back in the Coachella Valley. Reach him on Winston.firstname.lastname@example.org.