NO BODY FOUND AFTER YUCCA VALLEY FIRE, CAUSE UNDER INVESTIGATION

We have more information regarding a house fire in Yucca Valley early Thursday morning. According to Battalion Chief Michael McClintock, fire crews were dispatched around 4:30 a.m. to the 57400 block of Buena Suerte in the Western Hills neighborhood of Yucca Valley. Arriving crews found the three story home under construction well involved with flames. Crews also encountered downed power lines, a burning power pole, an RV, and multiple burning vehicles.

Crews concentrated efforts on protecting nearby homes and vegetation, knocking down the fire in approximately one hour. Bystanders reported hearing a cry for help from the home, but no occupants were on scene when fire crews arrived. Once the fire was extinguished, investigators slowly searched the site with cadaver dogs, but no human remains were discovered. The fires cause & origin is under investigation.

MEDICAL PROFESSIONALS NEEDED FOR CALIFORNIA HEALTH CORPS

If you are a health care professional licensed to work in California, the state needs you. Managing editor Tami Roleff has more information about the California Health Corps…

The California Health Corps is a state program, established last April, that lets health care professionals meet increased demands for health care workers during the COVID-19 pandemic. Health Corps workers are needed to help both COVID-19 and non-COVID-19 patients get the care they need. Needed are nurses, EMTs, nurse practitioners, paramedics, doctors, physician assistants, respiratory therapists, and behavioral health professionals. Participants can sign up for shifts based on availability, willingness to travel, and skillset. California Health Corps participants are temporary state employees.

For more information, visit:
https://covid19.ca.gov/healthcorps/

FRUSTRATION IS THE WORD FOR GETTING AN APPOINTMENT FOR A VACCINE

It could be months before people 65 and older in California get the COVID-19 vaccine because of a shortage in doses and slow distribution. The latest numbers from the state show of the nearly 4 million doses received so far, a little more than 1.5 million, or about 40%, have been administered. So far, less than 4% of California’s population has been vaccinated. The state’s health director says the state is receiving only 4,500 vaccine doses a week at best. At that rate, it will take 20 to 22 weeks to vaccinate all Californians 65 and older. A fresh dose of frustration is most often the outcome for those seeking the coronavirus vaccine through the San Bernardino County public health department. But there are alternatives for residents who are eligible for a COVID-19 vaccination. Private providers — including supermarket pharmacies and urgent care clinics — offer the vaccine by appointment. Keep in mind, though, that non-county options are just as likely to be overwhelmed by demand for the vaccine, so you might have to keep checking until an appointment is available. And you will still have to meet eligibility criteria. As of Thursday (Jan. 21), San Bernardino County is offering the vaccine to health care workers, long-term care facility residents and those age 65 and older. All county-run sites require appointments and proper documentation, such as proof of age or employment by a health care facility. A link to a list of vaccine providers and how to make appointments is below.

Appointments: sbcovid19.com/vaccine/locations/
Or call 909-387-3911.

COVERED CALIFORNIA DEADLINE IS JANUARY 31

The deadline to enroll in health coverage or change your plan through Covered California is quickly approaching. With an estimated 1.2 million uninsured people in the state, as well as the COVID-19 pandemic, Californians are being urged to get covered. Reporter Cassidy Taylor tells you how to enroll…

Covered California is the state’s health insurance marketplace, where Californians can find affordable, high-quality insurance from top insurance companies. Consumers can then compare health insurance plans and choose the plan that works best for their health needs and budget. Roughly nine out of every 10 consumers who enroll through Covered California receive financial assistance which helps make health care more affordable. Those interested in applying for coverage can explore their options by using Covered California’s shop and compare tool. All you need to do is enter your ZIP code, household income and the ages of those who need coverage to find out which plans are available in your area. Those interested in learning more about their coverage options can visit coveredCA.com or call 800-300-1506. Covered California also offers certified enrollers who can help with the process at no cost. The deadline to enroll with Covered California is January 31 and plans will start February 1.

STATE CONSIDERING CHANGING VACCINE ELIGIBILITY

California is strongly considering doing away with the vaccine tiers, going solely to an age-based distribution starting with 65 and older. Meaning those who thought they were also up next, grocery store and farm workers and teachers, would be pushed back months. “That’s what we’re struggling with. This really small amount of vaccine,” said Dr. Erica Pan, state epidemiologist. “Trying to look at who is filling our hospitals. Who’s dying from this disease and what can we prevent as soon as possible. With this very small amount, we do hope maybe in March, April, or May that there is going to be more vaccines available but it’s unpredictable at this point.”