Plus: School enrollment in public schools is falling amid a pandemic. CSU and UC systems require students to receive vaccines; and how is your postcode doing when outputting recordings?
But first, the Oscars are just around the corner. Have you not yet made the selection in your office pool? The LA Times breaks all chances for films like “Nomadland”, “Soul” and “The Sound of Metal”. The Oscars will take place on Sunday at historic Union Station in Los Angeles, where the Ticketing Hall is the main venue. It is the latest of many film and television appearances since the iconic building opened in 1939. For more information on this classic train station that is still in use today, check out this photo gallery on USA Today.
Do you know anyone who is interested in the Golden State? Let them know that they can sign up for the In California newsletter using this link. I’m Julie Makinen, California editor for the USA Today Network, bringing you the top Thursday headlines.
In close coordination, the California Senate OKs monitored drug users’ websites in three urban areas
Instead of putting opioid users in jail, a proposal that goes through California law would give them a place to inject drugs while trained staff watch them to make sure they don’t die from an overdose.
The Senate passed a bill with just one vote on Thursday that would enable the programs in Oakland, San Francisco and Los Angeles Counties, the Associated Press reports. But the law has yet to be passed by the State Assembly before it can go to Democratic Governor Gavin Newsom, who would decide whether to include it in the law.
In recent years, supervised injection sites around the world have emerged to rethink the treatment of people dependent on strong opioids – including heroin, fentanyl, and some prescription pain relievers.
Addicts get very sick when they try to get off the drugs, making them difficult to stop using. The number of overdose deaths has increased nationwide in recent years and has sparked debate in state legislatures about how best to address a public health and public safety issue.
These locations are legal in Canada but illegal in the US. The former Trump administration sued to block a proposed injection site in Philadelphia, and a federal appeals court joined the administration in January. Proponents, however, are appealing this decision, hoping that the administration of new President Joe Biden will drop the lawsuit.
California and Texas went different ways with the vaccine. Who is ahead?
California and Texas severely ended the pandemic and vaccination campaign to end it.
In Texas, official messaging has emphasized individual rights and the protection of the economy. Elected leaders have often ignored public health warnings and yet promoted vaccination – calling it a personal choice. The California heads of state and government have now increased their confidence in science. It is stressed that its policies are aimed at improving social justice.
So who is ahead? It’s complicated. Overall, California’s pandemic metrics were better. 49% of Californians 16 years and older were partially or fully vaccinated, compared with 43% of Texans, California Healthline reported.
Despite California’s commitment to justice, Texas is not really ahead of Texas when it comes to vaccinating Latinos, who make up roughly 40% of the population in both states. Latinos have suffered disproportionately from COVID-19 because the poorest tend to live in overcrowded apartments, receive poorer health care and are more likely to work outside the home.
In California, by April 12, 22% of Hispanics had been vaccinated; in Texas 21%. According to a recent analysis by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Texas generally did better than California in the first few months of vaccine distribution in reaching high-risk groups. Texas was seventh on the list; California was penultimate fifth.
Wondering how your zip code is doing? The state has published data; Watch your community grow with this round-up from the San Francisco Chronicle.
Biden administration shifts gear to Trump-era exhaust standards for Golden State
The Biden administration said Thursday it was beginning the process of dropping a federal Trump-era vehicle emissions rule that was preventing California from setting its own standards that were stricter than the U.S. government’s.
Thirteen other states and Washington, DC, had previously signed the tougher California standards, meaning Thursday’s decision will have ramifications for the nation’s entire auto industry. The move came from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and will now be publicly commented on for 30 days.
The Trump administration’s emissions standard was a rollback of a standard from the Obama era. After transportation grew to be California’s largest segment of greenhouse gas emissions, the state struggled to maintain its waiver of the Clean Air Act, which allowed it to set its own rules. The state has been regulating tailpipe emissions since 1966 before federal law was passed.
Senator Dianne Feinstein, California’s Senator and Democrat, welcomed the move to return the waiver to the state.
“The Trump administration should never have asked the California authorities to set our own emissions standards for vehicles,” she said in a statement. “Clean Air Act clearly gives us the right to protect the air that Californians breathe, and I want to thank the Biden administration for dropping this frivolous challenge.”
Public school enrollment is falling amid a pandemic. CSU and UC systems need vaccine
California public schools have seen a sharp drop in enrollments this year as the pandemic forced millions into online schooling, according to data released Thursday.
The decline came as the state’s school districts dawdled to get kids back into the classroom, making California one of the slowest in the country to reopen schools.
California Department of Education data shows that the number of students in K-12 schools fell more than 160,000 this school year, most of them at the K-6 level, to a total of 6 million, the Associated Press reported.
The decline is by far the largest decline in years and provides the clearest picture yet of the devastating impact of the pandemic on California public schools.
“The fall annual snapshot of enrollment shows a sharp one year decline as the state and nation grappled with a deadly pandemic that disrupted all aspects of public education,” a statement from the education department said.
In other education related news, The California State University and University of California systems jointly announced that all students and staff returning to courses and activities on campus must be fully vaccinated against COVID-19.
However, the requirement will not take effect until one or more of the COVID-19 vaccines have received full approval from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Current vaccines are administered under emergency FDA clearances. However, use of Johnson & Johnson’s one-time vaccine was suspended on April 13 due to reports of rare blood clots.
The planned vaccination requirement of the universities becomes effective with the “full approval” or the beginning of the autumn semester, whichever is later. The vaccine manufacturers Pfizer and Moderna are both in phase 3 efficacy studies and can apply to the FDA for full approval of the vaccines at any time.
Stanford will also have a requirementreports the San Francisco Chronicle.
In California, there is a summary of news from the USA Today network newsrooms. Contributors: Associated Press, Los Angeles Times, Chronicle of San Francisco, California Healthline. Julie Makinen is the California Editor for the USA Today Network. Follow her on Twitter at @Julie_Makinen