Vaccinations having positive impact on the County as case rates, hospitalizations decline

By Staff Reports

(Victor Valley)– We received encouraging news at Tuesday’s Board of Supervisors meeting that San Bernardino County could move into the state’s red tier by March 17, and possibly into the orange tier as soon as April 7.

“We are very excited about the impact the vaccinations are having in our community to help slow the spread of the virus,” said Director of Public Health Corwin Porter. “As of Monday, we had distributed almost 380,000 doses of the vaccine. And more than 40,000 additional doses came in today.”

“We are seeing the case rates continuing to decline and the hospitalization rates are also going down,” Porter added. “We are carefully optimistic.”

CEO Leonard X. Hernandez said that San Bernardino County is looking at possible partnerships with neighboring counties to assist with vaccinations in more remote regions such as Trona and Needles. Seniors in these communities are currently being served by the County’s mobile vaccine clinics. These partnerships would enable the county to provide larger events for other eligible groups. At publication time, several appointments were still available for the March 10 vaccination clinic at Needles Community Center, which was just opened up to all eligible tiers. 

Residents with severe underlying health conditions or disabilities will qualify for the vaccine on March 15. “Personal medical providers are still encouraged to be the primary source of that vaccination, but if they come to a County site with the required medical documentation, we can also assist with those vaccinations,” said Porter. “The state will be providing more clarity on this, but we want to be sure everyone in this group who wants the vaccine will be able to get one.”

The state is now setting aside 40 percent of its vaccine doses for underserved communities. “San Bernardino County has already placed 74 percent of its vaccine distribution sites in these zip codes, so we are already well staged to meet this requirement,” said Porter.

Porter was also pleased to share that the state has provided an additional avenue forward for youth sports. “Irrespective of the tier, indoor sports can now resume with a safety plan and testing,” he said. “So most youth sports can move forward at this time.”

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