Wednesday, September 14, 2022 – California Healthline

LA County Health Worker Infected With MPX: The first U.S. health care worker to be infected with MPX while on the job has been reported in Los Angeles County, public health officials said Tuesday, the day after the county confirmed the nation’s first MPX death. Read more from the Los Angeles Times.
California Launches Website For Those Seeking Abortions: Gov. Gavin Newsom announced a new website Tuesday designed to help Californians and those outside the state access abortions. Abortion.ca.gov allows users to search for an abortion provider near them and is also available in Spanish. Read more from Bay Area News Group and AP. Keep scrolling for more abortion news.
Below, check out the roundup of California Healthline’s coverage. For today’s national health news, read KHN’s Morning Briefing.
HIV/AIDS
San Francisco Chronicle: HIV Infections Rose In S.F. For First Time In A Decade, Perhaps Due To Pandemic
San Francisco recorded its first year-over-year increase in new HIV infections in nearly a decade in 2021, though at least some of those cases likely were in people who became infected in 2020 and only tested positive last year due to pandemic lockdowns and other restrictions that led to testing delays. (Allday, 9/13)
Coronavirus
The (Santa Rosa) Press Democrat: COVID-19 Is Waning In Sonoma County, But Wildfire Smoke Could Aggravate Symptoms For Those Who Still Get Sick
Sonoma County’s local pandemic outlook continues to improve, with infection rates dropping below the state threshold that once indicated “widespread transmission.” But don’t put those face masks away just yet. (Espinoza, 9/13)
San Gabriel Valley Tribune: LA County Considers Dropping Indoor Mask Recommendation As COVID Cases Drop 
If the number of COVID-19 cases continues to decline, Los Angeles County will consider dropping its recommendation to wear a mask indoors, as well as its requirement for masking on buses, trains and transit depots, the county’s Department of Public Health reported on Tuesday, Sept. 13. (Scauzillo, 9/13)
Modesto Bee: Update: Impact Of COVID-19 Wanes In Stanislaus County
Stanislaus County public health officials are unwinding their response to the COVID-19 pandemic, as hospitals and the community are no longer seeing a severe disease impact from the virus. Dr. Julie Vaishampayan, county public health officer, said the public health division will discontinue bed polling at hospitals and take other steps to return responsibility for testing and treatment of COVID-19 patients back to private healthcare providers. The county is rolling back efforts in anticipation of California ending a COVID-19 state of emergency this fall. (Carlson, 9/13)
Southern California News Group: Daniel Pearl’s Family, Journalists Rally Behind California School Magazine Adviser Facing Suspension
The father of the slain reporter whose name adorns Daniel Pearl Magnet High School and dozens of journalist organizations are calling on the Los Angeles Unified School District to rescind a decision to suspend the adviser of the school’s student-run publication for her refusal to remove the name of an unvaccinated librarian from a student’s article. (Henry, 9/12)
Voice of OC: Here’s How Orange County's 3 Biggest Cities Spent Their Latest COVID Bailout Money
As cities across Orange County and the U.S. faced economic downturns amid the COVID-19 pandemic, the federal government poured billions in bailout money to help them out. That money is part of the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA), a federal bailout bill that is sending $350 billion to state and local governments as well as territorial and tribal governments. (Elattar and Biesiada, 9/14)
Bay Area News Group: Should You Get Your Flu Shot And COVID Booster Together?
The flu shot is as familiar an October ritual as football, foliage and Halloween. But health officials are urging Americans to get the new flu shot and COVID booster at the same time — the sooner, the better. (Krieger, 9/14)
The (Santa Rosa) Press Democrat: Flu Season Could Be Rough This Year. Here’s Why You Should Get A Vaccine
Local health experts are concerned that this year’s flu season could be severe, leading to a “twindemic” as COVID-19 persists. They are urging Sonoma County residents to get their flu shots. (Lawrence, 9/13)
Abortion
AP: GOP's Graham Unveils Nationwide Abortion Ban After 15 Weeks 
Upending the political debate, Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham introduced a nationwide abortion ban Tuesday, sending shockwaves through both parties and igniting fresh debate on a fraught issue weeks before the midterm elections that will determine control of Congress. Graham’s own Republican Party leaders did not immediately embrace his abortion ban bill, which would prohibit the procedure after 15 weeks of pregnancy with rare exceptions, and has almost no chance of becoming law in the Democratic-held Congress. Democrats torched it as an alarming signal of where “MAGA” Republicans are headed if they win control of the House and Senate in November. (Mascaro, 9/14)
The Hill: White House Blasts Graham Abortion Bill As ‘Wildly Out Of Step’
The White House on Tuesday described a new bill that would impose a nationwide ban on abortion after 15 weeks of pregnancy as “wildly out of step” with the country, pushing back hard on the legislation introduced by Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.).White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said in a statement that the ban “would strip away women’s rights in all 50 states.” (Gangitano, 9/13)
The New York Times: How A Nationwide Abortion Ban After 15 Weeks Would Compare To State Laws 
A proposal to ban abortion nationwide after 15 weeks of pregnancy would stop short of some states’ limits on the procedure but would upend the longtime standard in most others. Such a ban would come early in the second trimester, before common screenings for certain health conditions and several weeks before a fetus is considered viable. (Lutz and McCann, 9/13)
The 19th: Democratic Senators Urge Biden Admin To Use HIPAA To Protect Abortion Rights
Thirty Democratic senators led by Washington’s Patty Murray are calling on the Biden administration to use health care privacy laws to protect patients’ reproductive health information, specifically when it comes to abortion. (Luthra, 9/13)
MPX
Palm Springs Desert Sun: Monkeypox Below Limit Of Detection In Palm Springs, Indio Wastewater
New data from the Palm Springs wastewater treatment plant suggests that monkeypox concentration has fallen drastically in the city despite weeks of growing levels. (Sasic, 9/13)
Bloomberg: Monkeypox Virus: Brain Inflammation Seen In Two US Cases, CDC Says
US health officials cautioned Tuesday that monkeypox led to neurological complications in two otherwise healthy men in their 30s. (Muller, 9/13)
Health Care Industry
Fierce Healthcare: Aetna To Enter ACA Exchanges In 4 More States
Aetna will enter the Affordable Care Act's (ACA's) exchanges in four more states, bringing its total footprint to 12 states, the insurer announced late last week. The CVS Health subsidiary will begin offering plans in California, Delaware, Illinois and New Jersey for the 2023 plan year. Aetna already offered plans in Arizona, Florida, Georgia, Missouri, North Carolina, Nevada, Texas and Virginia after returning to the exchanges at the beginning of 2022. (Minemyer, 9/12)
Bloomberg: US States Like Massachusetts, California Impose Caps On Hospital Costs
The landmark Massachusetts health reform of 2006 was so successful it served as the model for Obamacare. Then, state leaders vowed to “bend the curve” of ever-rising health costs. That hasn’t gone as well. So now calls are rising for a new reform, one in which Massachusetts would join a small, but growing number of states, from California to Rhode Island, that have begun to impose caps on certain health-care prices. (Goldberg, 9/13)
San Francisco Business Times: Sutter Health Names Warner Thomas As CEO 
Warner Thomas, who has headed Louisiana's largest health care provider for a decade, will become the new president and CEO of Sutter Health, the Sacramento-based operator of hospitals serving more than 3 million patients in Northern California. (Leuty, 9/13)
KVPR: Bakersfield Hospitals Left To Clean Up After OB-GYN Accused Of Negligence
By the time OB-GYN Dr. Arthur Park surrendered his license in late 2021, all four of Bakersfield’s hospitals had been sued by patients of his, and at least two had paid out settlements. One, Mercy Hospital Southwest, was also found to have made errors in the days leading up to the death of one of his patients. (Klein, 9/14)
Around California
Orange County Breeze: City Of Hope Receives $25M Gift From Argyros Family To Eradicate Cancer In OC 
City of Hope, one of the largest cancer research and treatment organizations in the United States, has received a $25 million gift from Julia and George Argyros, visionary philanthropists and longtime City of Hope supporters. The transformational gift, announced by Argyros Family Foundation president Julia A. Argyros during the Sept. 10 Hope Gala, advances City of Hope’s mission to deliver world-renowned research, treatment and cancer cures to Orange County. The gala raised $2.3 million, in addition to the announcement of the Argyros family’s transformational $25 million gift to City of Hope Orange County. (9/13)
Los Angeles Times: Mentally Ill Languish In California Jails Without Care
John Haasjes was having a bad Christmas. It was 2020, and he thought his downstairs neighbor was spying on him. They exchanged words, and she called the cops. He was arrested on suspicion of making a verbal threat and booked into a Kern County jail. (Rector, 9/14)
Modesto Bee: Tuolume County, Diestel Turkey Ranch Have Avian Flu Outbreak
Tuolumne County and its popular, long-running turkey farm Diestel Family Ranch have been hit with an outbreak of the highly contagious and deadly avian influenza. According to the United States Department of Agriculture, close to 300,000 turkeys in the foothills county are part of the outbreak of the highly pathogenic disease also known as bird flu. Fourth-generation farmer Heidi Diestel confirmed that their family’s commercial turkey flock experienced an outbreak recently, and more than 100,000 of their birds were destroyed to stop its spread. (Rowland, 9/14)
San Francisco Chronicle: Poll Finds Asian Americans Feel Less Safe In S.F. Than Other Groups
Jade Le has lived in the Tenderloin for 11 years and loves her San Francisco neighborhood. But it’s now in the worst state that she’s ever seen, particularly in terms of safety. Le, who is Vietnamese and Chinese, said she was assaulted four times near her home during the pandemic — punched in the back of her head while crossing the street, grabbed while walking her dog and grabbed by a homeless person with an exposed penis. (Li, 9/14)
Health Care Survey The 2022 CHCF California Health Policy Survey
This recent statewide survey found that one in four Californians had trouble paying a medical bill in the last 12 months. The survey also captures Californians' health care priorities for the governor and legislature to address.
Listening to Black Californians Black Californians on Racism and Health Care
CHCF commissioned interviews with 100 Black Californians to understand their views on health and well-being, their perceptions of discrimination and bias in the health care system, and their views on what a quality health care system looks like.
Mental Health Mental Health in California
Using the most recent data available, CHCF’s 2022 Almanac provides an overview of mental health statewide: disease prevalence, suicide rates, supply and use of treatment providers, and mental health in the criminal justice system.
© California Healthline 1998-2022. All Rights Reserved.
California Healthline is a service of the California Health Care Foundation produced by Kaiser Health News, an editorially independent program of the Kaiser Family Foundation.
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