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California Inches Toward Normalcy with an Eye on Positivity Rate

California has reached 4 million vaccination doses in the Vaccine Equity Benchmark. Counties must address COVID-19 in all communities to open more widely and ensure the positivity rate in certain neighborhoods (health equity metric) does not significantly lag behind overall county positivity rates. The health equity metric is only used to decide whether a county can move to a less restrictive tier.

Similarly, the Healthy Places Index, developed by the Public Health Alliance of Southern California, helps to visualize community conditions such as low income, education completeness and healthcare access. Notably, 40 percent of COVID-19 cases and deaths occur in California’s lowest Healthy Places Index quartile. To end the pandemic, the state is setting aside 40 percent of vaccines to distribute to people in HPI quartile 1. This approach will help lower the rate of community infection, hospitalization and death. It will also help reduce potential new variants that might emerge.

When the state met the Vaccine Equity Benchmarks of administering 2 million and 4 million to the hardest-hit communities statewide, it expanded the Blueprint for a Safer Economy tiers to allow for somewhat higher case rates in the Substantial (red), Moderate (orange) and Minimal (yellow) tiers.

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Learn More About Vaccine Equity Benchmark

About Lisa Brown

Lisa Brown has decades of experience in corporate communications and marketing management with organizations including Coldwell Banker Residential, Grubb & Ellis, Marcus & Millichap, NAIOP, SIOR and ALM. In those positions, she worked in conjunction with chief executive officers and chief marketing officers to create corporate messaging, cohesive branding standards, strategic marketing plans and thought pieces. Brown is a frequent speaker at industry events and an editing adjunct professor for an online course. She has a master’s degree in mass communications from San Jose State University.

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