LGBT+ Health Awareness Week: Voting

In October 2019, the UCLA’s Williams Institute released a study detailing the preferences and characteristics of LGBT+ voters in relation to the 2020 General Election. The study indicated that, at the time, 1 in 5 LGBT+ adults (~21%) was not registered to vote and almost 9 million LGBT+ adults were eligible registered and eligible to vote. 2020 saw the nation grappling with a pandemic, a … Continue reading LGBT+ Health Awareness Week: Voting

LGBT+ Health Awareness Week: Advocacy

Did you know that the VA has a program for LGBT+ Veterans and that there are personnel at nearly all VA facilities nationwide that are tasked to help LGBT+ Veterans with care issues? In 2016, the VA started addressing healthcare issues specific to LGBTQ+ Veterans by appointing LGBT Veteran Care Coordinators (VCCs) at VA facilities. VCCs are licensed clinicians responsible for promoting best practices for … Continue reading LGBT+ Health Awareness Week: Advocacy

Sacramento County Allowed to Move to Less Restrictive Tier

UPDATE (3/16/2021)

Today, the State announced that Sacramento County is allowed to move from the most restrictive Purple/Widespread Tier 1 to the less restrictive tier of Red/Substantial Tier 2 per the State’s Blueprint for a Safer Economy.  Sacramento County Public Health has issued the March 16, 2021, Health Order to reflect the move to the Red Tier. The summary of changes are:

  • In alignment with Red Tier 2, the following sectors are permitted for OUTDOOR operations only. These sectors must still maintain mitigation measures (social distancing, face covering, and sanitization): 
    • Cardrooms, satellite wagering
    • Family Entertainment Centers (e.g. bowling alleys, miniature golf, batting cages, kart racing, skating rinks, and arcades)
    • Playgrounds, dog parks, skate parks, and recreational facilities
    • Wineries, breweries, and distilleries (with reservations, 90-minute time limit, table seating, onsite consumption closed by 8 p.m.)

*Bars and pubs may operate indoors (maximum 25% capacity or 100 people, whichever is fewer) if they are offering sit-down meals, otherwise they remain closed.

  • In alignment with Red Tier 2, the following sectors are open for INDOOR operations. These sectors must still maintain mitigation measures (social distancing, face covering, and sanitization) and specific modifications in parenthesis below:
  • All retail (maximum 50% capacity; grocery stores 100% capacity)
  • Critical infrastructure
  • Entertainment production, studios, broadcast
  • Gyms and fitness centers (maximum 10% capacity + climbing walls)
  • Hair salons and barbershops
  • Hotels and lodging (fitness centers maximum 10% capacity)
  • Libraries (maximum 50% capacity)
  • Movie theaters (maximum 25% capacity or 100 people, whichever is fewer)
  • Museums, zoos, aquariums (indoor activities maximum 25% capacity)
  • Nail salons and electrolysis operations
  • Personal care services (e.g. body waxing, estheticians, tattoo, massage)
  • Places of worship (maximum 25% capacity)
  • Professional sports (without live audiences)
  • Restaurants (maximum 25% capacity or 100 people, whichever is fewer)
  • Shopping centers (e.g. malls, destination centers, swap meets) (maximum 50% capacity; closed common areas; food courts maximum 25% capacity or 100 people, whichever is fewer)

Update (01/25/2021)

UPDATE (01/25/2021): California health officials ended the state’s regional stay-at-home order after reviewing the latest projections for ICU capacity. The latest news affects the Southern California, San Joaquin, and Bay Area regions that have been under the stay-at-home order for several weeks. The Northern California region has never gone under the order and the Greater Sacramento region exited the order earlier this month.

Most counties now fall under Purple Tier 1 which allows for more businesses and services to open. It should be noted that individual counties have the authority to set their own restrictions and can choose to keep more stringent restrictions in place.

California Governor Gavin Newsom announced the order lift effective immediately.

UPDATE (01/12/2021): The following was posted on Sacramento County’s COVID-19 page. According to the state, the Greater Sacramento Region is allowed to leave the stay-at-home order implemented in early-December 2020. The change is based on a four-week projection of the region’s ICU capacity.

On Jan. 12, the State of California announced that the Greater Sacramento region is permitted to exit the State’s Regional Stay at Home Order with a four week ICU availability projection of 19 percent. Counties in the Greater Sacramento region can resume operating under the State’s Blueprint for a Safer Economy tier structure. Based on the State’s tier criteria, Sacramento County will be in Tier 1/Purple. Sacramento County Public Health will be issuing an updated Health Order to align with Tier 1/Purple that will be effective Wed. Jan. 13, 2021, that reopens some indoor and outdoor operations under reduced operational capacity. Sacramento County will continue to provide details regarding the updated Health Order. Review the differences between the Regional Order and Purple T​ier 1. ​

UPDATE (12/31/2020): The ICU capacity for the Greater Sacramento Region dropped overnight from over 17% to 14.4%, the first time it’s fallen below the 15% threshold in several days. The news comes one week after the Christmas holiday where record amounts of people traveled despite CDC and health officials’ recommendations not to do so and whilst the nation grapples with a massive surge in COVID-19 cases.

As a result, state officials said that the stay-at-home order would likely be extended. A release from the Department of Public Health stated, “While the Greater Sacramento region’s daily current ICU capacity numbers have been relatively consistent at approximately 14%, early projections over the next four weeks show ICU capacity is likely to drop. Therefore, the order will likely be extended for that region. Official ICU projections for the Greater Sacramento region will be posted on January 2 based on January 1 data.”

The current order went into effect at 11:59 p.m. on December 10th for three weeks. The regional order could’ve ended but the news that the ICU capacity dropped below the threshold will put that possibility in doubt.

As it stands, the Greater Sacramento Region remains under the stay-at-home order.

Lastly, as of December 31st, 2020, California has become the third state to pass 25,000 COVID-19 deaths since the start of the pandemic and has confirmed the 2nd reported U.S. case of a mutant variant of the virus that appears to be more contagious.

UPDATE (12/09/2020): It was expected that the Greater Sacramento region’s ICU capacity would fall below 15% based on projections related to the current, ongoing surge of COVID-19 cases. Today, the California Department of Health Services reported that the Sacramento region ICU capacity number slipped to 14.3% after hovering between 19% and 22% over the past week.

As a result, it was announced that the region would implement the regional stay-at-home order effective 11:59 p.m. Thursday night.

Under the order, several business industries will be closed & storefronts will be reduced to 20% capacity. Additionally, restaurants would be allowed only for takeout or delivery.

The order will initially be in effect for three weeks. After that, the order will be lifted when the region’s ICU capacity reaches or exceeds 15%.

Affected counties are: Alpine, Amador, Butte, Colusa, El Dorado, Nevada, Placer, Plumas, Sacramento, Sierra, Sutter, Yolo, and Yuba.

The Greater Sacramento region is the third region to fall under the stay-at-home order. The San Joaquin Valley and Southern California regions fell under the order last week. Today, it was announced that the valley ICU capacity hit 4.2% and SoCal’s is now at about 9%.

Statewide, the ICU capacity is 11.6% with 1,420,558 cases and 20,243 deaths.

Below is the public order posted to the Sacramento County site:

Upon Statewide Order by the California Department of Public Health and announced by Governor Gavin Newsom, the Sacramento County Public Health Officer has amended the Public Health Order to limit ​operations of certain sectors and supports the new tier system for county monitoring and re-opening of business sectors. The Order goes into effect December 10​, at 11:59​ p.m., and will be in effect until it is rescinded or amended by the Health Officer.

More details to be posted as made available.

UPDATE (12/03/2020): California Gov. Gavin Newsom said he’s “pulling the emergency break” and asking residents to not gather with people outside of their household. A Regional Stay Home Order was announced for regions where ICU capacity falls below 15%, the order would last at least three weeks. In those regions, the following would be implemented:

  • The following places will need to close: indoor/outdoor playgrounds, indoor recreational facilities, hair salons, barbershops, personal care services, museums, zoos, aquarium, movie theaters, wineries, bars, breweries, distilleries, family entertainment center, cardrooms and satellite wagering, casinos, limited services, live audience sports, and amusement parks.
  • Schools that have received a waiver and all “critical infrastructure” can stay open.
  • Restaurants can stay open for takeout and delivery only, indoor and outdoor dining will shut down.
  • Retail stores and shopping centers can stay open at 20% capacity.
  • Outdoor recreation facilities can remain open with modifications.
  • Entertainment production, including professional sports, can operate without a live audience.
  • Residents in affected regions can still go to the doctor, buy groceries, go on a hike or worship outdoors.

Additionally, all non-essential travel is now banned statewide regardless of what zone you live in. Travel orders issued previously remain in effect as well.

Regions that fall below the 15% threshold will have 48 hours to implement the restrictions.

On Monday, state health officials reported that 75% of ICU beds throughout the state were occupied and that it could reach 112% by Christmas Eve. In Northern California, it was reported that 85% of ICU beds were full with state projections estimating all regions reaching their capacities by early January.

Unfortunately, current projections show all regions except the Bay Area will likely meet the 15% threshold in the next few days. Below is a break down of the five regions:

  • Northern California: Del Norte, Glenn, Humboldt, Lake, Lassen, Mendocino, Modoc, Shasta, Siskiyou, Tehama, Trinity
  • Bay Area: Alameda, Contra Costa, Marin, Monterey, Napa, San Francisco, San Mateo, Santa Clara, Santa Cruz, Solano, Sonoma
  • Greater Sacramento: Alpine, Amador, Butte, Colusa, El Dorado, Nevada, Placer, Plumas, Sacramento, Sierra, Sutter, Yolo, Yuba
  • San Joaquin Valley: Calaveras, Fresno, Kern, Kings, Madera, Mariposa, Merced, San Benito, San Joaquin, Stanislaus, Tulare, Tuolumne
  • Southern California: Imperial, Inyo, Los Angeles, Mono, Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino, San Diego, San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara, Ventura

Read more about the order here.

UPDATE (11/19/2020): A limited stay-at-home order has been ordered to go into effect at 10 p.m. on Saturday, November 21st. The order will remain in effect for one month. Non-essential work and gatherings will be ordered to stop from 10 p.m. to 5 a.m. in all counties in Purple Tier 1. This comes as the nation and state have seen a surge in COVID-19 cases.

This Limited Stay at Home Order will reduce opportunities for disease transmission with the goal of decreasing the number of hours individuals are in the community and mixing with individuals outside of their household. Every intervention to decrease mixing of households is critical during this unparalleled increase in case rate rise of about 50 percent during the first week in November. In particular, activities conducted during 10:00pm to 5:00am are often non-essential and more likely related to social activities and gatherings that have a higher likelihood of leading to reduced inhibition and reduced likelihood to adhere to COVID-19 preventive measures (e.g., wearing face coverings and maintaining physical distance).

This order shall take effect on November 21, 2020, at 10:00pm PST.

For counties that move into Tier One (Purple) after the effective date of this Order, the terms of this Order shall apply at 10:00pm PST on day two after the county is assigned to Tier One (Purple). For the purpose of counting days, day one shall be the first full day following the date of the tier assignment.

This order remains in effect until 5:00am PST on December 21, 2020, and may be extended or revised as needed.

Limited Stay At Home Order, Issued 11/19/2020

UPDATE (11/13/2020): A travel advisory has been issued urging against non-essential out-of-state travel, asking people to self-quarantine for 14 days after arriving from another state or country and encouraging residents to stay local.

This update comes after the state called for several counties throughout California to move back to Purple Tier 1, the most restrictive tier. Sacramento County moved to the tier as of noon on Friday, November 13, 2020.

Continue reading “Sacramento County Allowed to Move to Less Restrictive Tier”

COVID-19 & the LGBTQ+ Community, VA CLCs & People w/ HIV

This past week, several studies and reports were released related to COVID-19 and its effects on the LGBTQ+ community, the nation’s VA Community Living Centers (CLCs), and people with HIV. Below is a rundown on the facts and findings of each study along with links for your review. CDC Report: COVID-19 & Disparities Related to Sexual Orientation and Specific Racial/Ethnic Groups On February 5, 2021, … Continue reading COVID-19 & the LGBTQ+ Community, VA CLCs & People w/ HIV

VA NorCal: Voice of the Veteran Group

Today, VA Northern California issued the following news update: Voice of the Veteran Group Attention Veterans! Do you have ideas on improving the care experience at the VA Northern California Health Care System (VANCHCS)? We want to hear from you! Join our monthly calls to give input on care you receive and the environment of care. Our local Voice of the Veteran members partner with … Continue reading VA NorCal: Voice of the Veteran Group

Local Transgender Vet Discusses Military Ban Reversal

Earlier this week, President Biden signed an executive order reversing the U.S military’s ban on transgender people serving. Sacramento’s FOX 40 interviewed Joanna Michaels, a local transgender Veteran who served in the U.S. Air Force during the Vietnam War, on the news of the reversal. If the video doesn’t play, check out the link above. It’s been one day since President Joe Biden has removed … Continue reading Local Transgender Vet Discusses Military Ban Reversal