California will set aside 10% of Covid-19 vaccine doses to be used for teachers and child care workers in an effort to resume in-person education, Gov. Gavin Newsom announced in a news conference Friday.
The focused allocations will begin with a baseline of 75,000 doses and that number will be maintained as a minimum number to be set aside for educators each week.
Newsom credits the visibility of a three-week supply expectation set by the government for giving the state the confidence to zero in on a specific subset of those eligible. Over the next two weeks, the state expects to receive nearly three million vaccine doses, which will be administered at 1,100 sites throughout California’s 58 counties.
As for vaccines expected this week, some 702,000 doses were delayed by extreme weather elsewhere in the country. “A lot were going to arrive today didn’t,” Newsom said. Most of those doses were from Moderna, but some Pfizer doses have also been delayed.
“It’s not unique by any stretch my gosh, quite the contrary to California, some ways will fare probably a little better than many other parts of the country but 702,000 doses have been impacted,” Newsom added.
In response to the governor’s proposal for resuming in-person learning, California legislators released their own version of a plan to get kids back into classrooms, which includes reaching a case rate of just seven cases per 100,000 residents, a threshold Newsom thinks is too low.
His proposal suggests a return to school buildings once the case rate is below 25 cases per 100,000 residents. Both proposals include more than $6 billion in funding and plan to provide personal protective equipment and intend to get the youngest students in grades K through second grade back to class first, followed by those in third through sixth grades.
“We can do this, we can keep people safe,” Newsom said. “We can protect our students.”
In the meantime, California released new guidelines that allow for kids to resume outdoor competitive sports, including contact sports, like football, rugby, and water polo.
Testing will be required for those engaging in contact sports and will be limited to children ages 13 and older and living in counties with a case rate lower than 14 per 100,000. They can resume next Friday, Feb. 26, Newsom said.