• Thursday, Feb 25, 2021
  • Last Update : 04:50 pm

California in dire need of more medical workers

  • Published at 09:01 pm January 10th, 2021
Mary Medical Center amid a surge in COVID-19 patients
Mary Medical Center amid a surge in COVID-19 patients at the hospital and across Southern California on January 6, 2021Reuters

Clinics are not accepting walk-ins

California desperately needs more medical workers at facilities swamped by coronavirus patients, and almost no help is coming from a volunteer program that Governor Gavin Newsom created at the start of the pandemic. 

An army of 95,000 initially raised their hands, but just 14 are now working in the field. Newsom said very few volunteers met qualifications for the California Health Corps, and only a tiny sliver have the high-level experience needed to help with the most serious virus cases, reports UNB citing AP.

Other states have faced similar difficulties making volunteer programs work. California health authorities reported a record high of 695 coronavirus deaths on Saturday, raising the state’s death toll since the start of the pandemic to 29,233.

Health officials in Anchorage, Alaska, say appointments for residents eager to receive their first dose of a Covid-19 vaccine filled up in a matter of hours, leading to frustration for people still trying to sign up. 

Anchorage Health Department Director Heather Harris told KTUU-TV that all 1,800 available time slots were reserved by residents within a four-hour period on Thursday. 

Clinics are not accepting walk-ins. Residents aged 65 and older are now able to receive the vaccine; about 33,000 people fall in that category. 

Harris said Anchorage is expecting about 14,600 doses this month and vaccination clinics were planned throughout the weekend and early next week.

An Oklahoma judge has extended a temporary restraining order allowing bars and restaurants across Oklahoma to stay open past an 11pm, local time, curfew Governor Kevin Stitt issued in November in an effort to slow the spread of the coronavirus. 

District Judge Susan Stallings heard arguments in the case Friday and extended the December 29 order while she considers ruling in a lawsuit by bar owners who argue the governor doesn’t have legal authority to impose the curfew, according to court records. 

Attorneys for the governor say state law gives Stitt “broad and flexible authority needed” to combat the virus’ spread. 

On Saturday, Oklahoma had the sixth most new cases per capita in the nation with 1,218.16 per 100,000 residents, according to data from Johns Hopkins University.

California’s San Diego County is opening what it calls a “vaccination superstation” that aims to inoculate up to 5,000 health care workers daily with a coronavirus vaccine. 

The effort starting from today is one of the most ambitious yet in California to accelerate the pace of vaccinations.

Only about 1% of California’s 40 million residents have been vaccinated against the virus. Medical crews from the University of California, San Diego will operate the station in a parking lot near the downtown baseball stadium.

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