Uptick in California COVID cases noted as total nears 8-M mark; State officials boost workers, businesses


By Jo Erlinda Maufit
SACRAMENTO – Amid the national surge in COVID-19 cases driven by the Omicron variant, Governor Gavin Newsom, Senate President pro Tempore Toni G. Atkins and Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon  announced that they have reached an agreement on a framework to ensure employees continue to have access to COVID-19 supplemental paid sick leave through September 30, 2022.
This as confirmed COVID-19 cases in California soared at press time to 7,482,469 with 78,118 deaths while vaccination has reached 68,720,989 covering 81.5 percent of the eligible population.
On January 31, California’s confirmed COVID-19 cases reached 7,878,621 witch 79,284 COVID-19 deaths.
The California Department of Public Health, in a statement, reported that COVID-19 claims the lives of  81 Californians each day (average daily death count over 7 days).
Unvaccinated people were 17.8 times more likely to die from COVID-19 (data from December 20, 2021 to December 26, 2021). Unvaccinated people were 6.0 times more likely to be hospitalized with COVID-19 (data from December 27, 2021 to January 2, 2022).
On January 31, the CDPH reported the unvaccinated people are 22 times more likely to die than boosted individuals (week of Jan 2).

Total vaccines administered reached 69,485,832 or   81.9% of the eligible population (5+) has been vaccinated with at least one dose.

It also reported that of January 24, there have been 790 cases of Multisystem Inflammatory Syndrome in Children (MIS-C) reported statewide. MIS-C is a rare inflammatory condition associated with COVID-19 that can damage multiple organ systems. MIS-C can require hospitalization and be life threatening.

“California’s ability to take early budget action will protect workers and provide real relief to businesses reeling from this latest surge,” Governor Newsom said in a statement with state officials.

“ Throughout this pandemic, we have come together to address the immediate impacts COVID-19 continues to have on millions of California families, both at home and at work. By extending sick leave to frontline workers with COVID and providing support for California businesses, we can help protect the health of our workforce, while also ensuring that businesses and our economy are able to thrive.” Newsom and the state officials said.

“ We will continue to work to address additional needs of small businesses through the budget – they are the backbone of our communities and continue to be impacted by COVID-19,” they added.

Early budget actions will also include restoring business tax credits, including research and development credits and net operating losses, that were limited during the COVID-19 Recession; tax relief for recipients of federal relief grants for restaurants and shuttered venues; and additional funding for the Small Business Covid-19 Relief Grant Program.

The framework includes significant funding to bolster testing capacity, accelerate vaccination and booster efforts, support frontline workers, strengthen the health care system, and battle misinformation.