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SF City Health Director Makes Decision on Vaccination Guidelines – NBC Bay Area

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San Francisco’s health director is weighing in on the latest state decision made to adopt guidance by the Centers for Disease Control on allowable behavior for fully vaccinated individuals.

“We welcome the state’s decision to adopt the CDC’s guidance for gatherings, and we have updated our Health Order accordingly,” said Dr. Grant Colfax. “We are now at a point in this pandemic where fully vaccinated San Franciscans can attend small indoor gatherings with other fully vaccinated friends and loved ones without wearing masks or physical distancing or with unvaccinated people from one household who are at low risk of severe illness from COVID-19.”

Colfax added that for the purposes of this guidance, individuals are considered fully vaccinated for COVID-19 two weeks after they have received the second dose in a two-dose series of Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna, or two weeks after they have received a single-dose of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine.

Currently, individuals 16 and older are eligible to get vaccinated in San Francisco.

However, Colfax explained that even vaccinated people “may carry and transmit the disease, so it’s still very important that individuals consider the risk that exposure may have on those around them.”

For that reason, Colfax said face coverings, physical distancing, hand washing and limiting indoor activities and gatherings with people outside one’s household remain as important as ever, especially with the increased prevalence of more contagious variants in San Francisco.

Per the state’s guidance, when visiting with unvaccinated individuals at high risk for severe COVID-19 disease, vaccinated people should continue to wear masks and practice physical distancing.

“We hope this news offers further incentive for people to get vaccinated as soon as possible,” Colfax said. “We want to thank everyone for their ongoing cooperation and compliance with the state’s guidance. Our City’s commitment to following the health guidelines has resulted in the lowest death rate from COVID-19 of any major city in the country. With more people getting vaccinated every day, the light at the end of the tunnel is getting closer. We just need everyone to hang in there and keep up the good work.”

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Health

Health Fusion: Garden tip 1 for veggie success

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As a health reporter, I’m always reading scholarly research articles. A quick journal search reveals an ever-increasing number of studies on the health benefits of gardening. But I knew that getting my hands dirty in the soil was good for my mind and body long before I started reading and writing about it. Gardening helped me cope with the COVID-19 situation, and now I’m a huge advocate of inspiring others to grow things.

I’m particularly excited about vegetable gardening and how it gets people to put more veggies on their plate. A study from the University of Michigan reports that kids who do gardening activities tend to up their intake of vegetables. And we all know that vegetables and fruits are good for our overall health.

In order to help you be successful at growing (and hopefully eating) vegetables, I have some tips that I’ll share throughout the season. Tip No. 1: Start with the soil. Plants get nutrients form the soil, and, just like humans, they need a healthy balance to grow. So before you add fertilizer, you need to know what’s already there.

In particular, you need to know the amount of nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium in the soil. The University of Minnesota, North Dakota State University and other institutions have soil testing labs that can analyze samples you send them. Then they return the results, which include recommendations for the type of fertilizer you should use, to amend the soil before planting.

Properly amended, nutrient-rich soil will help your garden get off to a great growing start.

Follow the Health Fusion podcast on Apple, Spotify, and Google Podcasts.

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Anita Bennett and Kelly King Horne column: Homelessness is a public health crisis | Columnists

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Homeward ensured that the shelter program met U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development guidelines, secured additional private funding and helped coordinate public funding for the Pandemic Shelter.

As the pandemic evolved, so, too, did our system’s response to those experiencing homelessness. We adjusted procedures to adhere to the latest guidance and expanded the Pandemic Shelter to meet the expanded need.

So, what did we learn from the pandemic?

First, homelessness is as much a public health challenge as it is a housing challenge. Housing instability is a deadly proposition for a great many people and cuts short the lives of those who are experiencing homelessness.

Medical professionals and health care providers need to meet people where they are. That’s why in addition to its primary care, behavioral health and dental services from its physical locations, Daily Planet Health Services now offers mobile medical services to meet the needs of people experiencing homelessness.

This shift in approach also explains the success of our region’s vaccination efforts. Daily Planet has administered more than 4,600 COVID-19 vaccine shots to individuals experiencing homelessness and those who are working in shelters.

Second, we learned that shelter can be a lifesaving intervention. Shelter isn’t housing and it’s not a permanent solution. It’s one step toward stable housing, but it’s often a crucial step. Simply providing a safe space to stay temporarily saved lives.

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Shawnee Health Care’s Felicia Kimbrough says nursing ties in many of her passions | Special Sections

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Felicia Kimbrough NP, DNP, has a nursing practice which is a little different than most.

As a nurse practitioner for Shawnee Health Care’s Terrier Care location inside Carbondale Community High School, her clientele, daily activities and role is unique.

“Terrier Care is literally inside the school,” the 41-year-old Carterville resident shares. “We provide health care to the students at CCHS along with all of the feeder schools as well as the families of those students, faculty and staff and their families, so it allows me the unique opportunity to literally be with my patients five days a week in the same building for years at a time. Many times, it allows me to know families, to know back stories and to really get to know my patients. I love it.” 

Kimbrough has been at Terrier Care for five years following positions at a federally-funded clinic in Louisville, time at Marshall Browning Hospital in Du Quoin and other roles with Shawnee. All told, she’s been a nurse for 20 years.

She says nursing combines many of her passions.

“I have always really loved science and I love reading and I love people,” she explains. “Nursing is a perfect bridge to all of the things that I love. I get to ‘do’ science every day; I get to talk with people every day and get to be a part of some great things in their lives.”

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