Monday, September 19, 2022 | California Healthline

Monday, September 19, 2022 | California Healthline

Newsom Signs Bill Allowing Human Composting: California will begin allowing an alternative burial method known as human composting in 2027, under a bill signed by Gov. Gavin Newsom on Sunday. The method involves letting remains naturally decompose in a steel vessel for approximately 30-45 days. Read more from the Los Angeles Times.

Discharged Veterans To Get More Help Accessing Health Benefits: Gov. Gavin Newsom announced Saturday that he signed legislation to assist LGBTQ veterans discharged under “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” in updating their records and accessing education, health, burial, and other benefits available to honorably discharged service members. Read more from the Los Angeles Blade and AP.

Below, check out the roundup of California Healthline’s coverage. For today’s national health news, read KHN’s Morning Briefing.

San Francisco Chronicle:
UCSF’s Dr. Bob Wachter Says He’s Ready To Dine Indoors As Biden Declares Pandemic ‘Over’

The careful and data-driven UCSF chair of medicine Dr. Bob Wachter has reached a new pandemic milestone: He’s ready to dine indoors and ditch his mask in uncrowded indoor settings. In a characteristically lengthy Twitter thread Sunday afternoon, Wachter broke down his reasoning, calculating that his chances of dying from an indoor maskless dinner are about 1 in 200,000 – “consistent with other risks we all take to do some things we enjoy.” (Hao, 9/18)

The Washington Post:
Biden Says ‘Pandemic Is Over’

President Biden declared the coronavirus pandemic “over,” in apparently off-the-cuff remarks that reflect the growing sentiment that the threat of the virus has receded, even as hundreds of Americans continue to die of covid each day. “We still have a problem with covid,” Biden said on “60 Minutes,” which aired Sunday night. “We’re still doing a lot of work on it … but the pandemic is over.” Biden made the remarks Wednesday during an interview at the auto show in Detroit, referencing the crowds at the event. The annual auto show had not been held since 2019. (Diamond, 9/18)

The Hill:
Fauci Fears ‘Anti-Vaxxer Attitude’ Could Cause Outbreaks Of Non-COVID Diseases 

Anthony Fauci, the nation’s top infectious disease expert, said in a new interview that the “anti-vaxxer attitude” of some Americans risks causing non-COVID virus outbreaks in the U.S.  “I’m concerned the acceleration of an anti-vaxxer attitude in certain segments of the population . . . might spill over into that kind of a negative attitude towards childhood vaccinations,” Fauci told The Financial Times in an interview published Sunday. (Oshin, 9/18)

State Lifts Vaccine Mandate For School Staff

Teachers and other school staff who have not been vaccinated against COVID-19 will no longer have to be tested weekly to remain on campuses after this week. State Public Health Officer Dr. Tomás Aragón rescinded a public health order requiring that all school employees show proof of vaccination or be tested at least weekly. (Lanbert, 9/18)

Becker’s Hospital Review:
Supply For Moderna’s Omicron Booster Hits Snag

Two weeks after the CDC and FDA authorized Moderna’s bivalent omicron booster for emergency use, doses are running out in a few U.S. states. Some pharmacies and hospitals in Hawaii, California and Washington, D.C., have reported they’re out of Moderna’s omicron-targeted vaccine. Despite these hiccups in supply, Moderna has not cited any reasons for manufacturing or shipment delays. (Twenter, 9/16)

Bay Area Reporter:
SF Health Dept. Expands MPX Vaccines To Non-City Residents Through Oct. 2

As San Francisco continues its efforts to rein in monkeypox, the city is getting help in the form of 10,000 additional Jynneos vaccines from the federal government, just in time for the beginning of the fall street fair season and associated events. The September 25 Folsom Street Fair itself is expected to draw thousands of visitors from outside the city and, due in part to that, the San Francisco Department of Public Health is expanding vaccine eligibility to non-city residents for the first time, according to a statement. Non-city residents who meet other eligibility requirements can get a vaccine from September 18-October 2, SFDPH stated. (Burkett, 9/16)

What Are Your Chances Of Catching Monkeypox — Compared To COVID?

The concerns about catching monkeypox come at a time when the COVID-19 pandemic is still in force, with over 300,000 cases reported daily across the globe and over 10,000 deaths per week. So how can people get a clear idea of what their chances are of contracting monkeypox? (Barnhart and Doucleff, 9/16)

Low Risk Of Monkeypox Spread Noted In Health Workers 

In a report today of 313 healthcare workers (HCWs) exposed to monkeypox in Colorado, none of them contracted the virus, despite few wearing the recommended personal protective equipment (PPE) or receiving postexposure prophylaxis (PEP) vaccination. (Soucheray, 9/16)

The Hill:
White House Pushes For Monkeypox Funding As Cases Fall

Monkeypox cases are declining in many areas of the country, but the Biden administration is warning that the virus still poses a danger and pushing for lawmakers to approve its multibillion-dollar funding request to combat it. More than 23,000 infections have been confirmed in the U.S. during the outbreak, but the growth has slowed. Cases have dropped about 50 percent in the past month, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), from an average of 440 cases a day on Aug. 16 to 170 cases a day on Sept. 14. (Weixel, 9/18)

The New York Times:
Is There Anything You Can Do To Prevent Or Treat Monkeypox Scars?

Although the scabs are a sign that the painful infection is about to be cleared, there is a possibility that some patients will still have redness or discoloration afterward that will fade with time, said Dr. Mary Stevenson, an assistant professor of dermatology at N.Y.U. Langone Health. In some cases, people may also be left with permanent scars. (Sheikh, 9/19)

Abortion Ruling Has Put These 5 California House Races In Play

Control of the House will be decided by a handful of races around the nation, and California alone has at least five whose outcome may hinge on a single issue: abortion. … Support for abortion rights is strong in California, where the Democrats who dominate state government have placed an initiative on the ballot to enshrine access in the state constitution. Prop 1, as it’s known, has support from 69 percent of likely voters. That’s expected to drive supporters of abortion rights to the polls in a way that will likely hurt GOP candidates in the tighter races, such as those held by Republican incumbents Rep. Mike Garcia in the suburbs at the northern edge of LA and Rep. Ken Calvert, who now must face voters in Palm Springs because of redistricting. (White, 9/18)

Lindsey Graham’s Abortion Ban Bill Baffles Some Republicans As Democrats Sharpen Attacks In Key Midterm Races

Republicans are distancing themselves from Sen. Lindsey Graham’s new proposal to ban most abortions after 15 weeks of pregnancy, as Democrats hold up the bill as proof the GOP seeks to restrict abortion nationwide if it wins control of Congress in the November midterm elections. In Graham’s proposal, Democrats see another chance to leverage an issue that has appeared to boost their chances of holding at least one chamber of Congress. (Breuninger, 9/16)

Two San Diego Moms Sought LPS Conservatorships For Sons

Anita Fisher has been here before. Her son has stopped taking his medication. Again. “Nothing has changed,” she said. “Yes, there have been new programs out there, but unless he voluntarily” — Anita gives a quick, doubtful chuckle — “accepts it, that doesn’t work.” (Bowman, 9/19)

Monday, September 19, 2022