LA may soon have a mask mandate; Demand for monkeypox vaccine exceeds supply – Coachella Valley Independent’s Indy Digest: July 14, 2022

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• Given that one of the things this Digest has become known for is, uh, the close eye it keeps on local wastewater (specifically, the amount of SARS-CoV-2 in said wastewater) , I feel a duty to let you know The Indio’s Valley Health District has also begun posting information about its testing for the virus. Here’s a link to the report, which frankly is confusing and focuses more on national stats than local stats. The best information comes from the chart at the top, which shows results similar to Palm Springs: we’ve been on a high plateau (with some variation up and down) for several months, with a definite spike in recent weeks. uh.

• I would be remiss if I did not emphasize the motto of the Valley Sanitary District, as displayed on the home page: “Give water another chance.” Please pause reading this Digest for applause.

• An indoor mask mandate will likely be reinstated in Los Angeles within weeks. The Los Angeles Times reports:Sustained jumps in cases and hospitalizations fueled by the hyper-infectious BA.5 subvariant pushed Los Angeles County to the high level of the COVID-19 community on Thursday, a shift that could trigger a new indoor mask mandate public by the end of this month unless conditions improve. Health officials have long said the county is closing in on steps for a new mask measure, and those warnings are now closer than ever as the latest wave of COVID-19 continues to sweep through the region. If LA County remained at the high COVID-19 community level, which is defined by the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, for the next two Thursdays, a new masking order would be issued with an entry date. effective July 29. Would every town in the Coachella Valley follow suit? Don’t bet on it.

• But hey, another vaccine will soon be available. CNBC writes, “The Food and Drug Administration has cleared Novavax’s two-dose vaccine for adults 18 and older, the fourth COVID vaccine to gain emergency approval in the United States since the pandemic began. The FDA’s decision comes weeks after its committee of independent vaccine experts voted overwhelmingly in favor of Novavax’s vaccine in early June, following a day-long public meeting where they assessed the data. on the safety of the vaccine and its effectiveness in preventing illnesses due to COVID. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention must still approve Novavax’s vaccine before pharmacies and other health care providers can begin giving injections. Novavax was an early entrant in the U.S. government’s race to develop a COVID vaccine in 2020, receiving $1.8 billion in taxpayer funding from Operation Warp Speed. However, the small Maryland biotech company struggled to get manufacturing up and running quickly, and its clinical trial data read much later than Pfizer or Moderna..”

• From one pandemic to the next pandemic (not yet declared but very possible): USA Today states: “As lines stretched around the San Francisco General Hospital block with people waiting to vaccinate against monkeypox, public health officials said Wednesday that the city has only 50 doses remaining. It is one of several cities to report a growing demand for vaccines. The disease, a milder cousin of smallpox, was first discovered in the United States in May Cases were reported in all but 10 states on Wednesday, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention tallied nearly 1,000 cases in all the countries. ‘This depletion of the existing vaccine supply comes at exactly the time San Francisco and other communities continue to see an increase in monkeypox infections and exposures.said California State Senator Scott Wiener, whose district includes San Francisco. Currently, the only vaccines available in Riverside County are for people who may have been exposed.

• On Monday, this space mentioned the imminent release of the first images from the James Webb Space Telescope…and if you haven’t seen them yet, know that they are damn amazing. An astronomy professor, writing for The Conversation, explains exactly what we see in each of these stunning images. A taste: “Webb pointed his mirror at exoplanet WASP 96-B – a giant hot gas planet orbiting a star about 1,000 light-years from Earth – as the planet passed its parent star. During this transit, some of the star’s light filtered through the planet’s atmosphere and left a “chemical fingerprint” in the light’s unique spectrum. The specifics of this fingerprint strongly suggest that there is water vapor, clouds and haze in WASP 96-B’s atmosphere.

• And finally…a friend of mine sent me this for possible inclusion in the Digest, and I apologize for deciding to include it. The headline, from The Daily Beast: “Pittsburgh Nightclub Closed After Patron’s Truly Awful Show…Stunt Goes Viral.” I removed a word where those ellipses are because I don’t want to trigger any spam filters. I’ll just say the missing word is a body part, and leave it at that. Key quote from a judge on this: “We have people in Florida who have seen this video. What does that say about us?

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