1 More Malibu Death, And Scant Details On City Hall Covid Cases, As School Chief Wants All Staff Vaccinated
Written by 991KBU on August 9, 2021
Another Malibu resident has died of Covid.
Over the weekend … the death count … kept of residents of the City of Malibu …. crept up one … from 8 to 9.
And the City of Malibu has announced a Covd-19 breakout among city employees …. presumably working at City Hall.
As for the death … no names or circumstances are ever announced by the county … which keeps the statistics.
It’s up to the survivors to disclose identity … if they want.
At least 6 people who worked in Malibu … and were part of the community …. have been killed by the disease as well.
And in the unincorporated county area of the Santa Monica Mountains … including Topanga Canyon … the death toll is now 13.
Over the weekend … county public health says another 9 people residing in the city of Malibu have been diagnosed with the Covid 19.
Another 13 have been diagnosed positive in the surrounding Santa Monica Mountains.
Late Friday .. the city put out a brief announcement … that “”several employees working at City Hall have been diagnised with Covid 19.
The announcement did not clarify … however … how many that is.
Or … explain if this was a workplace cluster or not.
Contacted at his home Saturday … city manager Steve McClary told KBUU News that he did not know which departments were affected …
Under county public health rules … if three or more people at any workplace come down with the disease in a workplace outbreak … it must be reported to the county … which will place the venue on a list.
McClary told KBUU he did not know if the city had a workplace outbreak … over if several employees came down with Covid 19 independently in different departments.
The announcement did not say which department or departments the stricken work in.
It did say that the employees are isolating at home … and that the city wishes them a speedy recovery.
The announcement was not heralded on the city’s website … there was no press release … it was not mentioned on the city’s Covid 19 page.
Rather … it was announced in the city manager’s weekly report on city hall matters … issued late on a Friday afternoon.
The city manager … Steve McClary … tells us he is working this weekend to provide as much more information as he can.
He tells KBUU News that the city deserves some credit for going as far it did insofar as notifications.
He seemed genuinely surprised that a reporter thinks more information needs to be released publicly.
Federal law does not allow the city to release names.
But state law … thru the county workplace orders …. requires the city to notify any persons who were exposed in their workplace … of that exposure.
That would include other employees … and members of the public who were in city hall on business.
Unless the city releases some specific information about which departments were affected … people who were exposed have no way of knowing if they need to isolate themselves … or take other steps.
Countywide … another 4,283 new cases were reported on Saturday… and three thousand positive diagnoses came up Sunday.
4283 new cases in one day is a a huge number … the largest since last winter.
Buyt county health officials say it may reflect a larger number of people gettign tested …
It may be this is more adults and children headed back to work and school and getting screened for the virus.
Increased screening testing programs will lead to quicker identification of asymptomatic people infected with COVID-19.
As bad as all this sounds ,,, some experts say the effectivness of the vaccine is not yet challenged by any widespread variant.
This fourth wave of the pandemic will probably peak in California late this month or early next, quickly drop off in September, and almost certainly not come close to causing the deadly chaos of last winter’s surge.
The San francisco Chronicle rportsa that this is the best guess of health experts’ best guess.
They base this on local and national models that take into account how the now-dominant delta variant has raged through other countries and how well vaccines are holding up against it.
The superintendent of the local school district is asking the school board to require all staff to be vaccinated, and every person to wear masks, on SMMUSD campuses this fall.
Dr. Ben Drati is also recommending that the entire student population and all employees be tested for Covid 19 on a weekly basis this fall.
Drati said the law does not allow mandatory vaccinations for students. But he said he still strongly encourages students 12 and older to get vaccinated.
And he said the district will continue to make vaccines available on campus.
In an email to parents Saturday, Dr. Ben Drati said the number of the new, more infectious Covid-19 Delta variant, along with warnings from district experts has prompted his recommendation.
The school board will take this up at a special meeting Tuesday, at 6:30 p.m., on the Zoom platform.
Drati said “recommendations from the LA County Department of Public Health, consultation with our panel of health experts, and our first-hand experiences with having students on campus in the spring” prompted his conclusions.
He said he is recommending mandatory vaccinations for all eligible staff, universal indoor and outdoor mask-wearing, mandatory Covid 19 surveillance testing for staff and students on a weekly basis, and mandatory on-the-spot tests of any child or adult who comes down with illness symptoms on campus.
If ratified by the board, SMMUSD will be one step ahead of the nearby LA Unified School District, which requires weekly tests for all, but not mandatory vaccinations for teachers and staff.
Also locally, Pepperdine University encourages – but does not requite – Covid 19 vaccinations, although shots for all other childhood diseases have long been required. Pepperdine students may file a form stating their objections, to evade the shots and attend school there.