Ever since the COVID-19 vaccine rollout began, every week has brought news of extremes, with success stories followed by supply problems and other hiccups in access and distribution. This week was no different, and included supply disruptions due to winter storms as well as an unexpected boost from the governor.
Plus, despite the fact that new infections have slowed, case totals at three local correctional facilities—the Fresno County Jail, Avenal State Prison and the Substance Abuse Treatment Facility and State Prison in Corcoran—remain among the largest in the country. How did they get there, and what could the vaccine mean for the incarcerated population?
This week’s COVID-19 update navigates the whiplash in vaccine news from the last week, plus takes a deep dive into Kerry Klein’s recent collaboration with Kaiser Health News and California Healthline on COVID in prisons. The discussion features excerpts from interviews with Ed Welker and Thai Tran, two men incarcerated at Avenal State Prison.
Meanwhile, here’s a snapshot for Fresno, Kern, Kings, Madera, Mariposa, Merced, and Tulare Counties (note that some numbers may have changed between the interview and publication):
As of Feb. 25:
- 3,798 total deaths out of 311,856 total cases
- 588 people hospitalized and 136 in ICUs
- 200 deaths reported in the last week
- 532 average cases reported daily in last week
As of 1 week previous, Feb. 18:
- 3,498 total deaths out of 307,712 total cases
- 727 people hospitalized and 168 in ICUs
- 180 deaths reported in the last week
- 813 average cases reported daily in last week
As of 4 weeks previous, Jan. 28:
- 3,017 total deaths out of 284,224 total cases
- 1,192 people hospitalized and 258 in ICUs
- 250 deaths reported in the last week*
- 1,642 average cases reported daily in last week
- *this includes a backlog from December in Kings County that was only added to data dashboard this week
You can always find up-to-date information for your county here.